Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

If you visit Artist Alley regularly, you're probably familiar with Coco and her fluffy pink rug. Coco, our shop dog, can usually be found a step or two behind me wherever I go. Coco is being featured today in honor of the major changes that will take place here at The Alley next week.

Each month we change our window display, and the theme for September's window will be, "Dog Days of Summer". We didn't create this theme with Coco in mind; but as you can see by her expression, it clearly fits!

The first week of each month is always an exciting time here. In addition to our window display changing, existing artists deliver their newest creations, and we add works from other new artists at the same time. In anticipation of our First Friday Opening, the first week of the month is full of creative chaos here, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I'll try to provide you with a sneak preview of next week's changes as they take place; but for now I'll leave you with this image of the three new boxes that were delivered yesterday. They're filled-to-overflowing with new North Carolina Made Creative Goodness. "What's in them?", you ask. Please check back here to see, or join us in-person at Artist Alley to see for yourself!

Friday, August 24, 2007

They Did the Mash...

...they did the Monster Mash!

I spent a portion of my time away this week with some very creative little monsters. (No, not them. They're the children in my life. The brightly colored furry creatures in the photo are the monsters to whom I'm referring!)

Time spent with my son, niece, and nephew is always precious to me. Although our planned trip to the lake and amusement park were thwarted by the rain, we still made the best of it. These awesome little creations are the result. I've encouraged the kids to make more for the Halloween season at Artist Alley.

Stay tuned to see what they come up with next!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Homeward Bound

I'm off today for a much needed visit with family and friends in Pennsylvania. I'm looking forward to temperatures below 100 degrees, evenings that actually cool off a bit, a day or two on the banks of the Neshannock Creek with the fly fishermen in my life, and watching my son spend endless hours with his cousins and Granny who he loves to death.

I love my life in North Carolina; but this will be good for my soul. And of course, I'll be watching for great North Carolina Art along the way too!

Now...if I could just figure out how not to gain weight given my Mother's fabulous Italian cooking. Any suggestions?!?!

Monday, August 13, 2007

By the Sea : Decorative Painting by Kathleen Miller

Personally, I haven't been by the sea in far too long a time; but each day I enjoy a bit of seaside pleasure when I view this display at the end of our hallway.

These painted treasures, and the display, are the work of Kathleen Miller. Kathy's been painting for over twenty years, and she enjoys the challenge of turning ordinary wood furniture and simple accessories into impressive works of art.

Kathy also delights in using elements of Early American painting and adapting them to present day trends. I think that her newest beach-themed creations are a perfect example of this. In fact, a few of them are on my own personal wish-list!

Kathy was one of the original founders of Artist Alley, and she is still the creative force behind our display themes, especially our front window.

Please stop by to see Kathy's creations in person. If you're lucky, you may even catch her here too. Or, if a personal visit isn't possible, please visit our online store to see her work. The link is in the column at the right.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hot...Hot...Hot... : Handmade Candles by Penny Arrowood

Hot...Hot...Hot... The temperature here has been off the charts this week with record highs in the low 100's; but that's not what I'm referring to today.

I'm pleased to share our new line of North-Carolina-Hand-Poured-Richly-Scented-Efficiently-Burning candles with you. And these candles are HOT!

Pennywise Peerless Candles are made by award winning candle creator, Penny Arrowood. Penny is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and her candle making endeavors began in her kitchen as a way to "salvage" leftover wax from commercially produced candles. Since those early efforts, Penny's passion for candles has evolved into a full-fledged business that has seen her products shipped around the world.

I met Penny this year at an Artist Retreat in Hampton, Virginia, and the first thing that I noticed was her larger-than-life personality and enthusiasm. This same energy comes through each time I'm in her presence; but she absolutely lights up when she talks candles. Watch for news of her personal visits to Artist Alley in the future, and in the mean time, don't miss her introductory special.

Penny's delivered a selection of "Try Me" candles in a variety of scents that will be available during the months of August and September. Each includes a glass candle holder and a votive candle in the scent of your choice. The price for this set is $2.50, and the set includes a coupon for $2.50 off your next candle purchase.

Right now, I'm burning Plumeria here. It's heavenly; but I can't possibly describe it in words. Please visit sometime soon so you can experience for yourself!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Feet! Shoes, Jackets, and More by Roberta Morgan

"Happy Feet". Yes...I know it's a movie; but I'm referring instead to how happy my feet are in my new pair of shoes. These aren't just any shoes; but a pair of one-of-a-kind Roberta Morgan handpainted shoes.

Roberta is a current finalist in the 2007 Simplicity/Threads Magazine creativity contest. In 2006, she won first place in the American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest and first place for the Road to California Quilt Show for Wearable Art. She's been creating for years, and her lists of accolades goes on and on. If this isn't enough, she's a really warm and friendly person too.

I met Roberta several months ago at a meeting of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild. We sat across from each other, and during the meeting, I became obsessed with her fabulous painted train case and matching shoes. By the end of the evening, I was practically drooling!

Shortly thereafter, Roberta very graciously agreed to offer her work for sale through Artist Alley. We have a selection of her original shoes, handbags, train cases, decorative boxes, mirrors, jackets, belts, and denim skirts. If we don't have your exact size or style in stock, Roberta welcomes special orders.

She'd love to customize one of your own personal favorites today. It's what she did for me, and my feet and I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Perfect First Friday

A Perfect First Friday.

Amazing North Carolina Art.
Interesting people.
Lively Conversation.
White Sangria.
A Fiesta of Savory Snacks.
Mom's Yummy Cookies.
Dancing in the Streets.

Not necessarily in that order.