Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our bags travel the world

When I worked for the Aspen Times in Aspen, Colorado, probably the best weekly newspaper in the country, we got photos from folks reading the Aspen Times from places all over the world.

So about six years ago we started getting photos from our friends with our Carolina Creations bags from all over the world.

On our website we have have great photos from the Cape of Good Hope, the Leaning Tour of Pisa, Sete, France, Switzerland and many places in the states.

Our newest photo is from the Ford Ironman Arizona that took place on November 23, 2009, where I understand they had a record setting event.

Stephen finished 58 minutes faster than last time. Good job Stephen!

Here is a link to the page on our website.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You never know

Some days we have the most talented people walk in the door and introduce themselves. This week we met Melissa Gray.

Melissa does needlefelting with wood and even raises her own sheep just down the road outside of Jacksonville.

She does both one of a kind sculptures and puppets. Here's what she says about them, "I really enjoy making my puppets, my goal is for accuracy, and I strictly limit myself to all fiber, I dye first and do not paint anything, I also don't use glass, beads, or wood as part of the sculpture.. no adhesives, or sewing, no fabrics, or anything but wool. I use the wool my own flock of corriedales provides me.

I think its hard for non fiber people to totally "get" what goes into a puppet... but the reactions of people who know what needlefelting is, it is so intense and rewarding. "

If you don't know what needle felting is here is a description.

What is Needle Felting?
Needle felting is something artists have been doing for years, yet most of us have never heard of such a thing. When we think of felting, we think of flat felt pieces and hats. From now on - think sculpture; think one-of-a-kind; think bears, animals, fairies, dolls etc.

We start with a piece of carded wool, such as might be used for spinning, a foam block for working on and one or more felting needles.

Felting Needles are straight needles with barbs cut along the shaft. When repeatedly pushed into a tuft of wool fibers, the barbs pull the fibers down, compressing and locking them together. The barbs are cut in one direction so that felting or matting together of the fibers will occur when the needle is pushed in and not when it is pulled out.

This matting/felting process makes a large ball of fluff condense down into a denser mass of wool. Poking more in one spot will depress that area creating a dent or depression in your sculpture to make, for example, an eye socket.

As you can see from Melissas work that description doesn't really do it justice. To see her page on our website, with prices etc.

Here is a video on utube, please note this is NOT Melissa and you'll see this ladys project is very simple compared to Melissa's but it will give you a little bit of an idea. See video!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Our good friend Justine dropped in this morning and brought us some great new pieces! We have them on our website if you're interested in seeing prices, etc, or ordering.

We're always excited to see what new she has come up with.

We'll be having a show, workshop, and tea with Justine the middle of May 2010.

Watch this blog for more information or better yet sign up for our newsletter and read all about it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peppermint Patty Francoeur

This photo haunts me, I guess she seems so far away and alone.

We lost Pepper on November 6.

Pepper had started coughing once in a while in early October but she acted fine otherwise. It was may 3 or 4 times then she stopped.

About the 2nd week of October Lucy got really sick so I took them both to the Doctor. Turns out Lucy has kidney failure and tumors. At 17 we cherish every day we have with her.

But Pepper who has never been sick in her 13 years turns out had lymphoma and we didn't even know it. It went so fast.

Breaks my heart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Randi Chervitz

I met Randi Chervitz a couple years ago and have been admiring her pieces ever since. While walking down the isle at a show this summer in NYC she ran up to me and said, "You inspired me to start a blog and I love it!"

In August I spoke several times at the Buyers Market of American Craft at the Convention Center in Philadelphia, about blogging. Randi was in the audience.

Randi has been making jewelry since 1987.

She began exploring forms in metal at Parsons School of Design, New York City, as part of her studies there. From Parsons, Chervitz transferred to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, the "Harvard" of metalsmithing, to study with internationally-known jeweler, Richard Mawdsley.

Since graduating in 1991 with a Cum Laude double major in Metal and Fiber, Chervitz has been hard at work keeping her artwork at the center of her life. In 1991, she began selling her work, jewelry pieces that explore fiber techniques in metal. Her influences include couture fashion, its history, expressiveness, and relationship to everyday life. Also important are the transformation of the role of women in the past fifty years, and the emergence of the self as one grows through life.

While building a following on the retail art fair circuit, Chervitz continued her personal and professional development by working in leadership roles in national and local retail stores. These experiences taught her to respect the consumer, as well as created an understanding of how high-end, one-of-a-kind objects influence the mass market.

Developing this knowledge has given her a unique perspective and understanding of how various market segments influence each other, and the impact that can have on artists choosing to make their livings through their art.

Chervitz feels privileged to make her own living through her art-making, and is constantly exploring new ways to create texture through metal. Her crocheted surfaces are her trademark, and hammered and soldered linear techniques reveal new directions.

"I first picked up my grandmother's crochet hook while taking a metal-smithing class in college. She taught me to knit when I was a child, and I always had good feelings about the individual stitches that make up a larger whole. Crocheting silver to make wearable objects quickly became my signature. From that exploration, I have continued on to add hammered metal, and a soldered, linear technique to my repertoire, as I continue to explore how assembling lines creates something significant."

I've shown a few of her pieces here, stop in to see more or you can shop online by clicking here!

Monday, November 09, 2009


Lots of people are surprised when they come into our gallery and find that we have a great selection of Judaica! (We have lots of Christian items too by the way but being in the buckle of the Bible Belt people expect that).

What is this doing in a small southern town?

We have one of the oldest Jewish congregations in North Carolina. In the mid 1880’s, there were many Jewish merchants on Middle Street with family apartments above their businesses.

They held worship services in what is now called the O. Marks building. In 1865, the “Hebrews of New Bern” purchased land next to the National Cemetery for a Jewish Cemetery.

Eventually the group formed Congregation B’nai Sholem and in 1894 the trustees purchased the land now designated as 505 Middle Street in New Bern for the construction of a Temple. Today, their beautiful temple is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is a link to their website.

I've done drawings, paintings, prints, notecards and tiles of their building.

In addition we have lots of visitors that are Jewish or have Jewish relatives.

We sell quite a lot of Judaica and have items ranging from mezuzahs to menorahs, from gift books to magnets to soap.

So the next time you need a gift take a trip to Downtown New Bern or you might want to look on our website by clicking here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Meet the artist Deb Karash

We have represented North Carolina jeweler Deb Karash for several years. We love the detail of here work and it's most unusual.

Deb fuses copper, silver, brass and colored pencil into wearable art! She first applies layers of colored pencil to a textured copper surface, she then suspends the copper over sterling to give each additional dimension.

When we asked her about her work she said "Jewelry, for me, is really about intimacy.

Windows, layering, and texture are metaphor for the mystery and richness of personalities. Jewelry becomes a part of people’s lives, a part of their stories. I enjoy participating in the marking of significant events in their lives and hearing the stories they tell me about their jewelry.

Throughout history humans have adorned themselves in a variety of ways. I feel a part of that history, if in a very small way. I draw
inspiration from natural textures, fiber, stone, and mixed media painting and sculpture. Surface, color, and texture are as important to my work as are the forms themselves.

I’m constantly grateful to be able to make my living doing something that I love so much. I hope that the joy of making will always be evident in my work.

To see more of Deb's work on our website click here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Special Order Fee Waived by Sticks through November 15

We just got a notice from Sticks that for orders placed through November 15 they will waive the 10% custom order charge!

'Tis the Season!
We've got a gift for you!!!!!
We will
WAIVE the 10% Custom Order Charge
on all December custom orders
received between today and November 15
Custom orders received by November 16
can be shipped in time for Christmas .

By November 15 we need to have
* All order information and design details
* All photos and other reference materials
* Full prepayment
Note: All appropriate custom UPCHARGES for detail intensity and special treatments still apply.

What does this mean? Nomally when you pick out the words you want, the images, maybe add your name, there is an additional 10% added to the price. For instance a dining room table might cost $2400 if you purchased what is in our gallery, if we order one to your specifications there would be an additional $240 charge. This offer takes off that $240 charge.

So if you've been waiting to do a special order, now is the time!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Peace sign

The kids have gotten on the Peace sign bandwagon. We haven't seen so many since the 60s. We have a great selection of them at Carolina Creations and a few on our website - click here to see what's there. I'll add to this page as time allows.

I see I haven't posted in a week! Where does the time go?

I am working on the monthly Carolina Creations newsletter that should go out this evening. Do you get it? You can sign up by clicking right here.Add Image
In it I talked about Broad Street, Our Downtown Dickens of a Christmas, some ideas for gifts for Christmas, waiving of the special order fee from Sticks through November 15, and more.

This week Carol and I finished the last of the new Dickens Storyboards that will go in our Downtown windows for the holidays.

I answered questions for an article in Niche on Social Networking. I commented on CRAFT's (Craft Retailers Association for Tomorrow whose board I am on) plan to create a nations Craft Week next October. Finished the poster for our Downtown Dickens of a Christmas, wrote countless press releases and created about 12 ads which run in Our State Magazine, New Bern Magazine, Arts Alive, Sun Journal and so on. I will say that doing ads is my least favorite thing to do only because it seems every day someone is after me about one.

It has been a very busy week!