Sunday, December 28, 2014

Be an artist

I remember when I was a junior in high school and went home and told my folks I wanted to be an artist and go to school for it. They said you need to get a REAL education.

I did go to a "real" college rather than an art school, like I wanted to, but majored in art. I've done more with my art than most of the people in my class, even though I wasn't the most talented one by far.

Making a living as an artist has been a rewarding experience. I couldn't do it without the support of my husband, Michael, and the ladies that help me at Carolina Creations who give me the time to do it.

I can't think of another career that would be more rewarding. Every day at Carolina Creations someone says, I love these paintings/pottery pieces, they bring me so much joy. Or they will say about Carolina Creations, I love coming in here, it makes me feel good!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

We have the best customers

Each year we give thanks for the wonderful people we have met through Carolina Creations and living in our lovely little town.

Today we received this photo from a family that lives away but whose folks live here.

The caption for the photo - 

The best gift under the tree this year....the gift of each other......and the awesome socks from grandma and grandpa! 

Solmate Socks, made in North Carolina and sold at Carolina Creations for 15 years.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Commemorative Vase Created for Swiss Bear

I was chosen to create a piece for Susan Moffat Thomas to commemorate her years as Executive Director of our Downtown Redevelopment Association. There has been many changes made to our downtown under the leadership of Susan.

I was given a list of the projects to be included.

I just happened to have hand built this large pot a couple months ago and it was waiting for the perfect scene to be painted on it! It was a good thing it was large because there were a lot of projects!

I did a couple sketches of how the vignettes would fit together.

Then I drew it out on the pot with a pencil - the pencil lines burn out in the kiln.

Projects included, Ship hauling Machine Artifact, Neuse River Bridge, Gull Harbor Walk, WayFinding System, Belks Building Rehab, Bear Plaza Bears, Union Point Park, Trent River Bridge, River Walk, Baxter Clock, F-11, Broad Street, and James Reed Lane.

Using underglazes I painted the scenes, applies a clear glaze over it and fired it again.

Danielle calls it a jardinière!    It's big enough that it can hold magazines, it can be a vase, or whatever!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Amazing New Pieces from Camp Climax Pottery

Hand thrown and hand sculpted
from Dan and Laurie Hennig
at Carolina Creations
Visionary, idealistic and in love, Laurie Anderson and Dan Hennig were married while attending San Jose State University in California. It was 1968, and the smoke was still clearing in Berkeley as they took their B.A. degrees in Art and traveled abroad to explore the museums and art enclaves of Europe.  Adventure and opportunity led them to teaching positions in the Caribbean where for almost two  years the rhythm of life in the West Indies influenced their work and lives.

In 1972 they were lured back to California by the great resurgence of culture and the arts that had been taking place since the late 60's. Camp Climax Pottery was begun in a remodeled garage in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The decision to establish the studio at their home reflected their desire to integrate their lifestyle, allowing the environment of family and community to  effect the clay process. Their 20 plus year involvement with the Renaissance Pleasure Faire began at this time. Together they explored the playful mood of "the Faire" to develop their own wild style, incorporating wheel-thrown stoneware and porcelain, constructions and sculpture. Eventually their work and markets have expanded to include major craft shows and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spring Home and Garden Tour 2015 Art FINISHED!!

Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out how to paint a particular scene, I looked at this house for a couple months, waiting for leaves to fall, shot it from 15 different viewpoints, arrgh, just wasn't right, until I got some foreground into the picture then thought THATS IT!!

Then, oils or watercolors?

My friend Brenda Behr says if its about the building do it in watercolors, if its about the light, work in oils.

Well I started one in watercolor, wasn't happy, started one in oil, wasn't happy, then back to watercolor adding the foreground and it flowed.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Prints available at Carolina Creations.

Only 3 more commissions to do for other people for Christmas!

Then I can think about my own Christmas gifts for people. It's the proverbial story about the cobblers kids. Same with Christmas cards. I often sit down to write them on Christmas Day. It's usually the first day between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I can sit down and relax!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Unity Banners

We are really pleased to be a part of the Unity Through the Arts Program with our artwork on 3 of the banners. Humbled by the purchase of the banner of our pottery by a couple that has been big supporters of Carolina Creations and of Michael and I personally for many years.

Can't wait to see them hanging!

Friday, December 05, 2014

A Going Away Gift

I was honored to be chosen by Craven Community College, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Craven Regional Airport,  to do a "going away" painting for a couple that has a tremendous impact on our community.  Jan Francoeur

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Buy Art

Stop in and get your BUY ART bumper sticker!

Free of course!
Monday - Friday 10-8
Saturday 10-6
Sunday 11-5

through December 23
Christmas Eve hours  10-6

Closed Christmas Day

resume regular hours on December 26
Monday-Saturday 10-6
Sunday 11-3

New Years Day 10-4

Monday, December 01, 2014

Festival of Lights

Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights. This year Hanukkah will be observed beginning on December 16 for eight nights.

Jewish families will light their menorahs with the Shamash (the candle that sits above the others and is used to light the other candles each night), and one additional candle on December 16 then an additional candle will be added each evening until all eight candles and the Shanmash are burring on the eighth night.
Other traditions of Hanukkah are eating food fried in oil to celebrate the miracle of the oil found by the Maccabees. The amount of oil that was found should have only burned for one day, but it continued to burn for eight days. This miracle created the Festival of Lights. foods eaten during the Festival are Latkes (pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts). A game is played with a four-sided top called a dreidel to win small prizes.

Gifts are often given each night.

We wish all our Jewish friends a happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We have much to be thankful for this year.

- All our wonderful customers at Carolina Creations.

- A wonderful staff.

- Loving family.

- Friends

- The hundreds of talented artists we've met and become friends with through the years.

- A beautiful Downtown that has blossomed.

- A successful business

- The medical community that has helped us both this year.

- A wonderful life that Carolina Creations has helped us to achieve.

To you all, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Learn about the benefits of beeswax and soy candles

The Buzz about Bees
Hanukkah Candles 47 for $22 Click here
Our beloved bees play an integral role in today’s commercial farming industry and are a “keystone species” with regard to both the food chain and ultimately to our survival. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating such popular crops as almonds, peaches, soybeans, apples, watermelons, cucumbers, and a plethora of other fruits and vegetables. In addition to the myriad benefits of pollination, honeybees also provide us with such products as beeswax, honey, and bee pollen, and the health of the ecosystem is intrinsically intertwined with these diminutive, incredible creatures. Here are just a few fun facts about the intriguing and irreplaceable honeybee:

Bees’ existence on earth predates that of humans.
Beeswax Bird Candles click to purchase
Field bees communicate the location of flowers to others by “dancing.” They signal to other bees about flowers’ distance and direction by walking in circles and by wagging their hindquarters.

The term “beeline” refers to the fact that once done collecting nectar, bees fly directly to the hive, using the fastest, straightest path possible.

A healthy queen can lay over a million eggs within her four-year life span.

Bees have thousands of barbed hairs on their bodies that collect pollen that is then dusted off into “pollen baskets” located on the outsides of their back legs. can see ultraviolet light, which allows them to sense which flowers are full of nectar. They also have three small eyes at the tops of their heads that act as light sensors, allowing them to see the sun even when it’s hidden behind clouds.

Nectar collected to make honey is stored in a “honey sac,” which is located along the bees’ digestive tracts in front of their midgets, where food digestion takes place. Nectar is stored in the sac until the bee returns to the hive and passes it off to a hive bee for processing.   (reprinted from BigDipper Candles.)

What about soy candles?

Soy wax candles are made from soy wax. Soy wax is a vegetable wax derived from soybean oil. After soybeans are harvested they are cleaned, dehulled, cracked, and rolled into flecks. Oil is then extracted from these flecks and hydrogenated. In the process, unsaturated fatty acids present in the oil are saturated, thereby dramatically altering the oil's melting point. It then solidifies at room temperature. 

History of Soy wax
Our Own Candles! View Scents
Interestingly, soy wax was invented by a group of college students in 1996 at Purdue University. The students had to develop a birthday candle using a renewable resource. They chose to use soybean oil. The students figured out how to solidify soy bean oil and won first place in a competition, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Development Council and Purdue's Department of Agronomy.

The Purdue Invention of soy wax marked the beginning of the soy candle industry as a whole!

Benefits of soy wax

Soy wax is derived from a vegetables, (soy beans), while it's counter partner, paraffin wax is derived from petroleum (a refined a gasoline product). 

Soy wax is a natural, renewable resource.

Soy wax is biodegradable and cleans up with plain old soap and water.
Paddywax two wick travel candles
Soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax and because of this, soy candles will burn slower or longer than paraffin candles.

Soy wax burns with zero petro soot, creating petro soot free candles.

We have a nice selection of both types of candles at Carolina Creations!

Click here to see our collection.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 2014 Newsletter from Carolina Creations

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Collage and Calligraphy

Our feature wall at Carolina Creations this month includes work by Kathleen Master, myself Jan Francoeur, Brian Andreas, Mary Anne Radmacher, and Martha Johnson.

The show is called "Calligraphy and Collage" opened during ArtWalk.

Kathleen is a self taught, mixed media, North Carolina artist who uses acid etched copper and formed clay on salt resist silk and cotten with natural organics to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

"I love the tooth and texture of different papers and fabrics and the way they take paint and dye.
My parents encouraged me as a child to create, they would bring boxes of discarded materials for me to use in my projects! I have worked with mixed media and collage ever since.", Kathleen says. 

For over 25 years Kathleen has been making a living with her creations.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stained Glass Artist at Carolina Creations

Angelika Taylor is one of our new artists at Carolina Creations.

Angelika crafts stained glass pieces that reflect her love of nature through flowers and leaves, pictured in natural settings. 

She has admired and studied the glasswork of other artists, Tiffany, of course, and his less famous contemporary, John LaFarge, but she has always experimented on her own. Most recently she has creating complete scenes, called primitives, which few attempt because of the incredible number of hours required to make them. Early instructors tried to discourage her from using intricate designs requiring small, time-consuming pieces. Instead, she made this my trademark whereby her panels do not appear flat, but have a unique, three-dimensional, painterly quality.

Angelika has been the recipient of many United States and International show awards, but was especially happy to be one of the artists selected to have their work chosen twice to become part of the permanent Christmas Ornament Collection of the White House. 

Glass selection must be artfully done, the cutting, wrapping, and soldering must be precise, but it is her love for design that breathes life into her work. 

Angelika says she was born to be an artist!  She took a detour through business school, which has helped her with her art considerably.

We have a nice collection of small panels and star ornaments.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas in Downtown New Bern

When we opened Carolina Creations in 1989 our Downtown had been in decline for two decades. We  had been living in the mountains of Colorado and were looking for a more temperate climate and a place that was "on its way but hadn't gotten there yet" since we missed that boat when we moved to Aspen. 

We chose New Bern because it was on the water, it had beautiful architecture and it had active organizations trying to bring change to the community including, Swiss Bear, the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, the Craven County Arts Council and the Downtown Merchants Association.

Slowly things came together. One defining moment was the new addition to what was then the Sheraton. Then we got a new airport, the streetscapes began to be renovated (financed by MSD taxes), the Comfort Inn came (now Courtyard), then the Convention Center, the new Neuse River Bridge and so on.

As downtown merchants we tried different things to bring attention to our downtown and to bring shoppers back. One year we put out luminaries every Friday night, we started ArtWalks, and Black Friday open house.

In 2009 Carol from the Arts Council and I, started telling the other folks that we needed to start planning for Christmas in March, not in October, and we needed a theme. We choose A Dickens of a Christmas and off we went. We painted the story - A Christmas Carol - on large boards which we put in windows throughout the Downtown. The idea was to read the story you had to walk or ride past every storefront in our Downtown. We planned other things like wrapping the light poles with lights, a wreath contest, a scavenger hunt and so on. The Santa House had been a staple in the Downtown, but it wasn't like it is today!

Due to family illness, I retired as chairman three years ago and the girls, Amanda Banks and Lisa Edwards, from Tony Salem and Associates took over. That was a great move, they are young, have young children, and a lot more energy!

The name was changed and a new era began...