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...

Friday, November 07, 2014

New Bern Calendar 2015

For the past 6 years I've created a desk calendar featuring New Bern paintings I've done through the year. I include a little bit of the history of the scene I paint.

While I don't just paint New Bern, doing this calendar encourages me to do at least 12 paintings a year of our beautiful town.

This coming years calendar includes my 2014 Christmas Card of City Hall in the snow, the Farmer's Market, parts of a large Commission I am doing for the convention center, Tryon Palace, The History Center, Persimmons Restaurant and Union Point.

In the first five years we lived here I did ink drawings which I hand colored, of all the churches in our Downtown. Over the past couple of years I have been redoing all of them in watercolor. This year I did the Broad Street Christian Church and the Riverside Methodist Church.

There is a sunrise painting of the Neuse River Bridge, a painting of the New Bern Civic Theater I did for them for a fund raising campaign to restore the building and each year I do a painting of the signature house on the Spring Home and Garden Tour. For 2014 that was the James Bryan House on Pollock Street.

And the last painting included in the coming years calendar is part of a painting I did for Sound Bank of the New Bern skyline from Bridgeton.

Monday, November 03, 2014

New Bern 2014 Christmas Card by Jan Francoeur

Every year for the past 22 years Jan Francoeur has created a Christmas card depicting a scene in our Downtown.

This years card depicts our City Hall. They are 10 to a package for $10.50.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Clay Baskets

In 1970 Phil and Gail Sellers graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute where Phil majored in painting and Gail majored in Industrial Design. Both minored in ceramics with Ken Ferguson and pottery became their passion. In 1978 their talents were put to use when they founded River Hill Pottery.

Over the past forty four years their interest has shifted from wheel throwing to hand building. Using coils to lattice developed into weaving the coiled pieces. The first coils were hand rolled individually, but as the experience of weaving the clay developed the focus shifted. 
They began working with extruded clay, which gave them the opportunity to create their own dies and spend more time with weaving patterns. Developing molds that they could weave over, has led them to the forms and shapes they now use. 

Their signature series have unique extrusions and weaving patterns. These baskets have unusual carved rims that look like wood and are signed and dated.