Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Thoughts about the Department of Peace

I work at Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast in Pittsboro NC.  This year, innkeeper Karen Pullen gave away a free night to Veterans and their families.  I just finished checking in some of these couples, and it left me thinking of the military, war, and more importantly~ peace.

I am an ardent pacifist but I do feel strong support and affection for the members of our armed forces--which are not exclusive to each other.  A good friend of my family has spent the better part of the past few years serving in Afghanistan. Watching his family go through the extremes of pride and worry was very sobering.  I also recently attended a service at Arlington (luckily not for my young friend)  which was deeply moving. 

I came up with some links that happen to follow the trail of my thoughts pretty closelyt:

This first one is from a favorite comedian Mike Birbiglia, who says "I love the troops. If they weren't the troops than I would be the troops, and I would be the worst troops".

One of my favorite musicians, PJ Harvey, released a very thought provoking album this year. Let England Shake explores themes of war, nations, patriotism, and the arc of a superpower.  Although at times terribly depressing, I do love this album.  Plus, I really like having the chorus "what if I take my problem to the United Nations" stuck in my head all day.  This video gives a feel of the album:

I'll leave you with one more link, here. This one is about a direction I hope we can move towards some day.  I look forward to a time when our nation decides to make a Department of Peace that is as well funded and supported (if not more so!) as our Department of War.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How beauty feels...

Richard Seymour: How beauty feels | Video on

Two artistically minded ladies I know shared the above video link with me recently--I highly recommend giving it a watch. It deals with a subject I often think about, and one that I remember sparked interesting conversations in my woodworking sculpture classes: how beauty feels and where we feel it.

 Several years ago I had the good fortune to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy with some of my family.  The whole gallery (and the building itself) is amazing, but one room in particular nearly knocked me off my tired feet--a room filled with Botticelli paintings. These intricately painted canvases are large, each one like a wall of a house, and the brush-strokes are nearly imperceptible they are blended so smoothly. As I walked through this room, gazing at panel after panel of strikingly beautiful figures and foliage, I became aware of a feeling of lightness spreading across my chest from the top of one shoulder to the other.  That is the only way I can describe it.  I suddenly felt as if a weight I didn't know was there had been physically lifted off of me. 

That's where I feel beauty.  Where do you feel it? What evokes that feeling for you? 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Local Artist and Fabulous Earrings

I had the pleasure of meeting NC Artist Maia Leppo last week and taking on some of her fabulous earrings.  The circles are made of up-cycled tin from tea tins or other printed metal boxes.  The domed shapes are sandwiched between two darkened steel rings and riveted with silver for a great contrast.  Silver loops connect to silver earwires.  Two sizes are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Product: Laser Cut Clocks and Brooches

These new clocks are so delightful! I can just picture them on a bedside table or a pretty white mantle with some river stones...  Laser cut from bamboo and featuring a silent clock--all made in the USA in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Window--New Scarves

The temperatures this weekend are supposed to stay in the mid-Sixties, which means everyone in North Carolina is pulling out their favorite sweaters and boots!  Personally, I love a nice scarf to make me feel like Fall, and Jody's new screenprinted jersey ones (featured on mannequin) are perfect!  Lightweight, easy to wrap many many times, and best of all, they can be washed with regular laundry.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New NC Necklaces from the Studio

I am excited to report after much trial, and even more error, I have finally gotten some enameled NC Necklaces that I am happy with!  Here are some of the first colors~my favorites.  The copper NCs are cut out by my father at his machine shop on the wire EDM, then I painstakingly clean them and torch enamel them.  It is extremely fun, and I am looking forward to more colors soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Product: Spitfire Girl Boxed Cards

I have been eagerly anticipating this latest shipment and they are finally here and out in the shop! These boxed cards combine some of my all time favorite things: dioramas, small plastic deer, glitter, and interesting things to put in the mail.  Each box card is hand-assembled in L.A. and features a cool background picture and a little figurine.  You can enclose a message, close the box, write the address on a label (enclosed), slip it back in the plastic sleeve and take to the Post Office!  A card *and* gift all in one, I can't wait to send one~

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Re-Stock: Moonspoon Chopsticks

Welcome to a new feature on the Blog (that I promise I will update more often from here on out!): the Re-Stock.  This week I got in a big new batch of the totally awesome Moonspoon Chopsticks.  Handcrafted in Pennsylvania from beautiful cherry wood, they are detailed with fabulous botanical and architectural motifs. Each pair comes with a little clasp that doubles as a chopstick rest.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting Settled in Carrboro

Here is yet another update after the event, sorry!  After much thought and careful deliberation, I decided to close my Pittsboro shop at the end of June and focus my efforts on the Carrboro shop.  I had a big closing party and got to see so many of the folks who made working at Vespertine such a pleasure.

I spent several crazy weeks packing (and less time unpacking) and moving things around.  The Carrboro shop is starting to feel really nice now, "pleasantly full", as a friend said yesterday.  As of this afternoon, I now have a sign out front! Very exciting! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carrboro Story...

I am remiss for not updating the blog sooner than this! However, I do have a good reason~  This winter I had an amazing opportunity to open a second store in a space in Carrboro that I have admired (dreamed about) for years.  I used to gaze across at the beautiful windows when I worked at The Original Ornament nearly 10 years ago. I think the seeds of my desire to have a shop were planted then, although they took a little while to sprout.

I moved into the space on Feb. 15th and opened on March 6th. Needless to say, I've been a little bit busy...

Thanks to some wonderful friends and family, I am able to run the Carrboro store and keep the Pittsboro shop open as well.  Having a shop in Carrboro has been quite the experience, for many many reasons.  My favorite though, is that I feel such potential here. I love my new customers, the surrounding restaurants, and, I must admit, the parking lots and well kept up town is pretty neat.  Don't get me wrong, I adore Pittsboro, but I often feel like the merchants can't catch a break.  There is such opportunity in this sweet historical town, but we have to fight for every small thing. If the Courthouse isn't burning down/being rebuilt over a year later, then a store is closing and staying vacant for months (or years, ahem, Red Star Coffee~so glad it's finally open!), or shingles are falling off the ancient awnings, there is NO place for visitors to park, the plantings are terrible.. but I digress.  I want only the best things for Pittsboro, and I am ever hopeful.

My Carrboro store is located in a wonderful old building at 118 B East Main Street. It is semi-connected to This and That Gift Gallery(we share doorways and the bathroom). I really lucked out with my building mates~ not only are Joy and Paul really nice and fun, but Paul is a photographer! He generously took the super-cool 180 degree shot above.  That's my new view from my counter.

Come visit!  I am open in Pittsboro Tues-Sat 10:30-5, and in Carrboro Tues-Sat 10:30-5:30, Sun 12-4