Friday, July 29, 2011

This is your life

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our corner and what goes on when we are watering.

Since it has been so hot (summertime you know) and we haven't gotten much rain we've been watering our new grass and plants. Our corner is busy, with people on their way downtown, just coming off the bridge and only a couple blocks from all governmental offices. So there is a lot of traffic.

When we are out there we act as greeters and tour guides. Lots of people stop and ask where the Post office is (we HOPE they don't take it away), where City Hall/Courthouse is, this morning where a bike shop is (we have 2 Atomic Cycles and Flythes), where the shops are, where Carolina Creations is (yes it HAS happened!), what is the fabulous, unusual red bush is in our yard (Callistemon citrinus splendens - Red Australian Bottle Brush plant) and where can I get one (Gary's Nursery), an on and on. We've gotten other neat plants from the Garden sale at Tryon Palace and from Pinecone Perrennials.
Callistemon citrinus splendens - Red Australian Bottle Brush plant

You know Swiss Bear Downtown Development, has a plan for a wayfinding system which will help visitors and locals alike to find their way including where you can park all day. We just need to raise the funds for it.

Almost everything people say as they go by is positive, except the other day when I was watering someone shouted out as they drove by "conserve it!"  I didn't realize what she said until she was pulling away (a good thing, I might have said something unseemly!) Well we ARE conserving water. We do it with a soaker head and water where we need to, only those areas that are having a hard time. Not watering with a "sprinkle" (my neighbors word) where you let it go for an hour and it waters the street as well as the grass, and much of the water evaporates before it hits the ground.

Our house is pretty visible, previously in this blog I've written about the controversy when we built it. Many people didn't like it. It DOES look more like a commercial building than a home. But it IS on a commercial street after all, and it houses our pottery studio, our painting studio, and 2 offices in addition to our home.

So this morning when I was watering I was pleased when a guy I don't know came out of the restaurant across the street and said to me "your house is beautiful, it is a wonderful addition to the city scape."

Thank you, you made my day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blown glass sea life

We have been fortunate to know several very talented glass blowers and lampworkers who have been creating sculpture of sea life for us.

The newest to join us is Seth Parks who has created shells that measure 6" to 11".

After a long absence we are glad to welcome back crabs by Janet Sweeney and Marty Hook.

This glass hermit crab is in their lampworked glass conch shell and  measures approximately 6.5" x 4" x 4.5".

Another artist who we lost track of for a while, Rod Hart, is back making his glass seahorses.

These are the best we have ever seen. They hang and measure approximately 10" x 5" x 2 3/4".

And new from Purser Studio are these glass crabs.

Since we live on the water and very close to the coast we have a lot of collectors looking for new and different glass pieces to add to their collections. So we are always on the lookout for something new. There really aren't that many glass artists doing this type of work so whenever we find someone new we are thrilled.

These sculptures and others can be viewed on our website by clicking here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baltimore Annapolis Solomons part 2

At the show we also met up with some of our friends, David and Polly Brooks who own Appalachian Spring Galleries in the DC area, Donna Milstein, Hanson Galleries in Houston, and H and Pat Childs who own G-Squared Gallery in Pennsylvania. It's always great to see them - we compare notes and share ideas.

We went to dinner with Donna at her favorite restaurant in Baltimore Tio Pepe. Donna says she's been eating there for 30 years. The Sangria is outstanding and the duck was fabulous.

I've always heard about Solomons but have never been there. It's kind of like Oriental, NC, you have to want to go there because it's not on the way to anywhere. So we decided to take a couple days off and go there on the way home.

On the way we stopped in Annapolis and had breakfast at Chick and Ruths Delly on Main Street. It's a pretty funky place. At 8:30 am during the week and 9:30 on the weekends everyone in the restaurant stands up and recites the pledge of allegiance!

Then we drove to Solomons. We went to Annmarie Garden - it was great. As we pulled up to the gate I saw that it was done by Peter King. I took a workshop with him a couple years ago.

When I got home from the workshop I made this sculpture for the front of our house. It's about 5 feet tall.

At the Annmarie Gardens was a  "fairies in the garden" show with a scavenger hunt type puzzle (similar to our Downtown New Bern "Dickens Detective" puzzle during Christmas).  Very clever and well done.

Wherever they had cut a branch off a tree someone had painted the wound. Neat!

Loved the sculptures as well and how they had them displayed in the woods. Every once in a while there was a cleared path through the woods with sculptures in the distance. This garden was my favorite part of the trip. And glad to report that their gift shop had about 95% made in the USA. Most of the artists whose work they carry are people we know!

We stayed at the Solomon's Victorian Inn and had a great view of the harbor.

We rode our bikes to the Calvert County Maritime Museum. which was fabulous and even got to take a ride around the Island on The William B. Tennison, a Chesapeake Bay bugeye for $7, what a deal.

Tomorrow we are heading home with a stop in Suffolk, VA to take photos of a house I have to do a tile of.  It was a nice trip.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baltimore Annapolis Solomons Part 1

On Sunday we left for the BMAC Show in Baltimore where we are always looking for new artists, especially glass artists.

On the way we stopped to see the Vietnam Memorial. Michael spent some time there in the brown water navy on the Mekong River. The memorial was quite moving to see.

From there we drove straight north. As I've stated in some previous posts we've been trying to do some camping this year. So instead of going into Baltimore on Sunday night we stayed near Ellicott City at the Patapsco Valley State Park.

They describe it as an oasis in the middle of a metropolitan area, which is what we found it to be as well. The sites were really nice and the grounds secure. We were only 10 minutes from Ellicott City and 20 minutes from the Baltimore Convention Center.

We hadn't been in Ellicott City for quite a few years and forgot how quaint the town is. Had a WONDERFUL crab cake at Trolley Stop.

I've always been interested in railroads and the B and O Depot there is beautiful.

The next morning we were at the Baltimore Convention Center in 20 minutes.

We usually stay at the Hilton but this time we stayed at the Hyatt. We've been there before and they have updated it since the last time we were there. One thing I always like is the view of the Inner Harbor from the hotel.

At the Show saw some of our favorite artists like Hank Goodman, Luke Adams, Ray Pottery, and Mike Mikutowski we did find some new glass including one artist from Wilmington, NC! We'll keep you posted as the new work comes in.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ten Great Reasons to Shop Local

1. Dollars you spend locally support vital public services in our town and county.

2. Your community is unique, and our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our distinctive character. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

3. You can grow a relationship with your local merchants. They can get to know you, and cater to your preferences.

4. Local merchants care about and invest in your community. They donate part of your dollars back to local groups and charities.

5. Your local purchases support local jobs.

6. When you shop at one local merchant, you’re supporting a whole host of other business. Banks, restaurants and other business cluster around our local shops.

7. Local shops are more accessible for everyone. This is especially important for elderly, vulnerable and young people and those without transport.

8. You save money by shopping at home. You drive less, save time, and you’d be surprised how often the retail prices are lower, too.

9. You can reduce your environmental impact by cutting out those long drives to the big city.

10. Your purchases help the town attract new entrepreneurs and skilled workers. Towns that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character are more successful in recruiting.

Thank you to the Kilmarnock, Va website for this list.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Welcome Painter Sue Scoggins

As a gallery owner, one of the best parts of the job is discovering new artists, especially when they are right in our backyard!  It is no secret that North Carolina is home to one of the largest concentrations of artists in the United States, many of whom have national reputations.

We just received these two paintings from local artist Sue Scoggins!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Mike Rooney

We have gotten some new pieces in from Mike Rooney. My favorites represent New Bern of course!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Photography by New Bern Photographer Bill Lease

This week we received some new pieces from New Bern Photographer Bill Lease

To see more of Bills photography click here!
To see more of Bills work click here!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Carolina Creations QR Code

I've always been pretty techy and interested in all things computer and internet but everything is changing so fast now I can't keep up.

I'm just now getting around to thinking about a QR code for Carolina Creations. They have been around since the mid 1990s but now with the high tech phones we have their use has exploded.
QR stands for Quick Response.
You put a QR reader on your smart phone, you more or less take a photo of the Code and it will do whatever you have programed the code to do. In our case I have it going to our website. You could also have your QR code be your phone number - so a person would "shoot" the code and it would automatically dial your phone number.

QR codes are easy to create - you just search on the internet for a QR Code Generator.
I'm going to start putting it on our business card, rack card and some of our ads.

What's next?