Friday, November 27, 2009

Shop Local and Southern Pines Festivities This Weekend

If you're in the Southern Pines Area, in addition to the fabulous shopping experience that you'll find year-round in our town, this weekend also holds some special surprises. Artist Alley will be open from 10 - 5 on Friday and Saturday, and from 12 - 5 on Sunday this week. On Sunday we'll be serving light refreshments, and the entire town will be kicking off the season with its Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Think strolling carolers, more than 50 decorated trees, Santa, good eats, and much much more! Then at 4:30 we'll be gathering by the historic train station for fabulous entertainment and the official lighting of the this season's Christmas Tree. I hope that you can join us, and wherever you are, please remember to shop local. This season, more than ever, your local businesses will appreciate your support.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hope and The Sandhills Children's Center Festival of Trees

The Sandhills Childrens Center Festival of Trees began this week at Pinehurst Resort. If you're in the area, this event provides a most festive way to begin the holiday season, and it benefits such a worthy cause!

In addition to the bevy of valuable services that they provide...and perhaps most importantly...The Sandhills Childrens Center provides Hope. Hope to the children that they serve; Hope to their parents; and Hope to our community.

I created and donated 100 Hope Pendants to this event this year. Additionally, throughout the holiday season, half of all proceeds from the sale of this piece will be donated to The Childrens Center. If you're seeking the perfect Christmas Gift, teacher's gift, or stocking stuffer...or if you'd just like to make a donation to a worthy cause...please consider this possibility. They're available locally at Artist Alley or online at .

Friday, November 6, 2009

Art in The Pines...A Celebration of North Carolina Art and Fine Craft

On Friday, November 6th, from 10 – 9, and on Saturday, November 7th, from 10 – 7, Artist Alley will host “Art in The Pines: A Holiday Celebration of North Carolina Art and Fine Craft.

Art in The Pines was founded as a community art show in November 2006. This year we’ve decided to relocate the weekend’s festivities to Artist Alley in Southern Pines so that a greater number of artists and local residents will be able to participate. Art of The Pines is a festive and fun way to begin the holiday season!

Art in The Pines kicks off at 10:00 on Friday morning. There will be artists in attendance, and spontaneous demonstrations and lively discussions are a sure thing. Refreshments will be served, and door prize drawings will be held on Friday and Saturday.

It’s an exciting time for us. On the heels of being awarded The Best Gallery in Moore County in The Pilot’s Best of Moore Awards, our artists have been creating in anticipation of this event. Every inch of the gallery is filled with their unique vision. You’ll find the latest work from artists who are perennial favorites beside new work by artists who’ve joined us since our recent call-for-artists. Our selection has never been better!

Throughout the weekend, guests can expect to meet local artists Mara Fiskin, Christine Jepsen, Lisey Rowe, Kathleen Miller, Nanette Zeller, Amy Smith, Christy Clark, Debbie Keen, Frank Pierce, Patti O'Day, Frank Giordano, Sherie Munie, Roberta Morgan, Molly Menard, and Jean Skipper.

Additional information about Art in The Pines and Artist Alley may be obtained by calling 910-692-6077. Artist Alley is located less than a block from the historic train station in downtown Southern Pines at 167 E. New Hampshire Avenue. Artist Alley features the work of more than 60 North Carolina artists and exhibits a wide variety of affordable art and fine craft.
***Snowman ornament by Kathleen Miller of Pinehurst, NC.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Calling All Carolers!

Calling All Carolers!

The Southern Pines Business Association is looking for singers and carolers to stroll the streets during our Holiday Open House, Sunday, November 29th from 2:00 pm to 4:30pm. Our Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 4:30pm.

Please get together a group of your friends, family, church group, etc... and join in on the fun! For more information please contact Claudia Miller at 692-5356.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sharing Stories

Sometimes the sheer joy of creating absolutely overwhelms me.

Even now as I'm scrambling to create my custom requests while preparing my inventory for the holidays, I love every minute of it. I love when my customers share their stories of how my work has touched their lives, and I love to imagine how and where these creations are today.

I didn't set out to be an "internationally collected" artist; but it seems to have happened anyway. My work is in the pocket of a soldier in Iraq...with a Doctor in The Sudan, and with a woman fighting the good fight against breast cancer. These are just a few of the many stories that have touched my life and my heart. Today I am grateful for all of them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Bag Ladies Lunch" and Feral Friends of The Sandhills

If you've known me for any length of time at all, it's probably apparent that I absolutely love animals. We live with a Chocolate Lab named Coco, a Beagle named Penny, and two indoor cats named Gracie and Cody. Our *extended family* also includes an array of outdoor kitties that we've grown to know and love. Officially, these cats are known as a "Feral Colony"; but to us they're Cally, Greybe, Lewis, Clark, Cuddles, Spot Dot, Patches, and Junior.

Tomorrow morning I'll be taking seven of them to our local Spay and Neuter Clinic for surgery. Their surgeries are possible thanks to the gracious support of three lovely ladies and their organization, Feral Friends of The Sandhills. I am most grateful.

If you're in the area, and you'd like to support this wonderful organization, they'll be hosting "The Second Annual Bag Ladies Lunch" from 11:30 - 1:30 on Friday October 16th at Ironwood Cafe. There'll be delicious edibles, a silent auction of gently used handbags, plus new handbags donated by local boutiques. Tickets are just $30, and the purchaser of each ticket will be entered into a drawing to win a designer handbag.

Available space is limited, and reservations are required. Tickets are available at The Faded Rose in Pinehurst or by calling 910-215-0505.

If you don't live in the area, and you'd still like to support this worthy cause, please call 910-295-0505.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Please join us tonight from 5:00 - 9:00 for First Friday at Artist Alley! Our feature artists will include Nanette Zeller and Kathleen Miller. Both will be in attendance throughout the evening, and a lineup of delectable refreshments will be served.

Nanette is a Mixed Media Fiber Artist who will be introducing us to oodles of new creations and fabulous techniques in honor of this event.

Kathleen Miller is a Decorative Painter who will be gracing us with her fall themed works, and we'll also be debuting her absolutely amazing Pinestraw Magazine Distribution Box.

I hope to see you tonight!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Beauties from Artist Alley

Metal furniture and sculpture by George Carling and Karen Taylor of Vass, NC... Naked Raku by Jim Tripp of Lumberton, NC...Handcarved canes and walking sticks by Doug Biggerstaff of Lakeview, NC...Metal Sculpture by Ed Duke of Aberdeen, NC... Fiber Art by Sherie Munie of Pinehurst, NC.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eye Candy. A Sampler of Pottery and Paintings Currently on Exhibit at Artist Alley

Pottery by Jim Tripp, a pharmacist and potter from Lumberton, North Carolina.
Paintings by Frank Giordano (aka Pop Picasso) and Fay Terry, both of Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Steel Furniture by George Carling and Karen Taylor, of Vass, North Carolina.
Masked Sculpture by Angela Cummings-Thompson of Vass, North Carolina.
All are even better in person! If you find yourself in or near Southern Pines, please stop for a visit.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th Musings

My dear husband just sent me the most delectable picture, and I thought that I'd share it with you.
Yes...we'll be having our usual burger feast before heading off to see fireworks tonight; but we'll also be enjoying this bounty from the garden. It's our first *real* harvest of the year.

July 3rd fireworks at Woodlake have become a family tradition for us. Before I moved to North Carolina, our tradition included fireworks and an amazing performance of the River City Brass at Westminster College. (Imagine gunfire during the 1812 Overture!)

When I was a kid in Pittsburgh, it was Caste Village Fireworks from our front yard, and a variety of city fireworks from my Grandma's porch in Mt. Washington. (How many Italian relatives can you fit on one glider?!?!?) It was ooohs and aaahs and Ice cold watermelon and Cracker Jack for everyone!

July 4th weekend has always been about family and fireworks for me, and I hope that you'll be enjoying a bit of the same this weekend too.

Happy 4th of July, and tremendous thanks to those who serve on our behalf!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Please Join Me at "Pinestock"!

Tomorrow afternoon, a group of talented local middle-school students will be staging the first ever Pinestock Festival right here in downtown Southern Pines. The event is being held from 5:00 - 7:00 in the grassy area behind the post office. You can read all about it in this article in our local newspaper, The Pilot.

Please join me for an entertaining afternoon on the lawn, and be sure to visit in theshade of my tent too!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Visiting With Friends

Boone Artists, Tom and Brenda Barber, visited Artist Alley yesterday, and it was such a treat to see them! Brenda is a mixed media artist who creates the most luminous collages and Tom is a fiber artist who learned to crochet while he was recovering from a gunshot wound at age 15.

They've faced so many challenges, especially during the past year. I admire their faith, courage, and the relationship that they share. They are genuinely two of the nicest people I've ever met, and our thoughts and prayers remain with them.

With Brenda's encouragement, I took this photo of Tom enjoying a few moments on the bench in front of The Alley. (He caught us, of course! ) Somehow Brenda escaped before I could snap one of her too. Next time, Brenda...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

She Sells Sea Shells

This Saturday, I'll be participating in a show in Swansboro, North Carolina. Swansboro is on the water and near the beach, and I'm really looking forward to it! Artist Alley Potter, Suzanne Rehbock of Flying Pig Pottery, will be there too. If you're in the area, please stop for a visit.

These pieces were created by decorative painter, Kathleen Miller, and they're available at The Alley now. Even if "The Beach" isn't in your plans for the summer, these lovelies will provide you with a little touch of it in your home everyday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The concept of "Courage" has been on my mind. While grand acts of courage are obvious and impressive, it's the everyday acts of courage that have touched my heart lately.... a true Southern Gentleman who dedicated his life to the fire service in Moore County, the woman recently diagnosed with cancer who's fighting the good fight, my dear niece who's constructively addressing a bullying situation at her school..examples are everywhere if we take the time to look.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spring's Emerging Artists

Joy Hellman, mixed media artist extraordinaire who has a delightful series of whimsical works at Artist Alley, shared this photo with me. In it, three of her students enjoy a bit of inspiration on a lovely spring day in Southern Pines.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Books to Be Red and 100 Pots

On a whim last year, I decided to make a series of pottery dishes. I knew what I wanted in my head, and I called on my artist-friend Olivia to help me to execute the idea. I debuted the results at The Ocrafolk Festival on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Ocracoke happens to be one of my favorite places, and it also happens to be home to my favorite bookstore in the world, Books to be Red. Whether your searching for a lighthearted beach read, the perfect journal, gifts for the kids, or original art...there's something for everyone at Books to be Red. If you visit soon...and I'll be jealous if you do... you'll also find a selection of my jewelry, my "Ode to Ocracoke" cards and prints, and 100 of these freshly made delicious little dishes. (They're shown above as they're midway through the creative process, and I promise that they're even better in person!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In My Corner of the World

In my corner of the world, I've been blissfully busy, and this blog has been woefully neglected as a result.

There'll be no long post for me today. Instead, I'll share an image of my latest creation. It features one of my all-time Swedish Proverbs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Business Breakfast on June 6th

One of my favorite groups in the world, The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild will be hosting an Indie Business Breakfast in Raleigh on Saturday June 6, 2009 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. at John P. "Top" Green Neighborhood Center, 401 Martin Luther King Blvd, Raleigh, NC, 27601.

They're promising "Breakfast & Brilliance" as they welcome Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Business Network( and Lisa Stewart of EC Stewart Designs ( The topic of their discussion will be "Using Social Media to Leverage Your Business and Attract More Paying Customers to Your Business". After their discussion, there'll be time for open networking with these creative geniuses.

This event promises a wealth of information for folks in all stages of developing their businesses. For additional information and registration information, please visit:

On a final note, for the art lovers among us, Lisa Stewart is the creative force behind "Calligraphy Pets" and other work that you may have seen at Artist Alley. Her work, and the work of other artists from the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild will also be featured at the meeting, and you'll have an opportunity to "Meet the Artists". (You KNOW how we love that at Artist Alley!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Arrivals...

Created right here in North Carolina, I'm pleased to introducing our latest arrivals! Won't you provide a good home to one or more of these precious babies? They'll be ready for delivery in 8 - 12 weeks, and I'll even throw in some food and other trinkets too. More photos to follow.
Pretty please?!?!?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Springfest 2009

Hope you can join us!

Please click on the picture below for a larger view of our flyer.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jim Goodwin's Ships Have Landed at Artist Alley

It is said that a face can launch a thousand ships, and that a picture is worth a thousand words; so I'll let these beauties by Jim Goodwin speak for themselves.

If you'd like to see them in person, and they really are much better that way, please visit Artist Alley. Also remember to watch for them in DreamWorks Studios film, The Lovely Bones, due in theaters on December 11th.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

FINALLY...The Work of Hank Allred promised in my entry of February 26th...I've managed to take a few photos of Hank Allred's newest creations! (Please see that entry for a few additional photos and details about this amazing handbuilt pottery.)
No matter how wonderful these pieces and their textural details, may seem here on the blog, they are so much better in person!
If you have an opportunity, please visit us at Artist Alley to experience them for yourself.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mixed Media Weekdend Update

What do you get when you combine 100 Mini Resistors, 23 Pieces of Paper 24 Wooden Components, 22 Talented Artists, Numerous Other Treasures, and an Unlimited Amount of Creativity?

The M4 Challenge, of course! It's Tuesday, and I'm finally beginning to fully recover from our March Mixed Media Madness weekend at Artist Alley!

The fun began two months ago when participating members of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG) each received an kit containing a set of identical items. (The kit contents are shown in the photo to the left.) Each participant was charged with using the kit contents to create a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Early last week, entries for The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild's M4 Opening began to arrive at Artist Alley....then our First Friday Opening celebrated the mixed media artists of Artist Alley. (The evening also provided attendees with the opportunity for a sneak peak at The M4 Challenge Entries.)...and finally, there was the official M4 Opening on Saturday.

Throughout the weekend, The Alley was buzzing with activity as guests and artists alike marveled at the creativity of this diverse and talented group of artists. The photos here don't begin to do it justice!

The M4 Challenge Creations will be on exhibit at Artist Alley through Friday, March 27th. Please visit soon, and prepare to be amazed!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Mixed Media Madness at Artist Alley

As you probably know, I'm truly passionate about The Artists of Artist Alley and the work that they create. (The assemblage above, "Check Mate" was created by Raleigh Artist, Jeanne Rhea.) If it's possible, I'm even more excited than usual to share the news of this weekend's openings with you today.

We'll be celebrating First Friday on March 6th from 5:00 - 9:00 PM. This month's theme with be March Mixed Media Madness, and the work of The Alley's Mixed Media Artists will be featured. Many of these artists will be joining the festivities; conversation will sparkle; tasty treats will be served; and a casual good time will be had by all! (You'll also have the opportunity for a sneak-preview of some of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild's M4 creations too. More on that in the next paragraph...)

THEN...on Saturday March 7th from 2:00 - 4:00, Artist Alley will be hosting an opening for The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild. Twenty-two talented artists from The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild will unveil the results of M4: The Mixed Media Madness Mission. In January each of these artists received an identical kit of random objects. Their mission was to create an original work of art using every bit of it; and the results are truly amazing!

This event promises to be unlike any opening you've ever attended! If you've heard the term "Mixed Media", and you've been mixed-up as to what the fuss is all about, this weekend will provide you with the perfect opportunity to experience it for yourself. (If you aren't able to join us on Saturday, this limited-run-show will be on display at The Alley through Friday, March 27th.)

More Hank to Follow Soon...

I know. I know. I promised more photos of Hank's work, and I will update you again with them at the beginning of the week. Trust me, it will be worth the wait!
If you have time to visit in person, please join us for this weekends' March Mixed Media Madness festivities at Artist Alley.
More details to follow later this morning...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coil Pottery by Hank Allred...Part I

Hank Allred is an amazing potter from Ramseur, North Carolina. He and I met at an arts festival last spring, and his work bowled me over at first sight.

He explains, "My work is a refreshing break from traditional pottery, leaning in a sculptural direction. My creations run from small turtles and mushrooms to large coil pots, from realistic looking waves with tiny surfers in action positions, to giant face pots with earthy colors of glaze, from modern fossil bowls, to shrines and fish. It has been said that I have a whimsical streak that reveals itself in my intricate creations."

Hank's work is built by hand, using mainly the coil method, and he just delivered an assortment of his latest creations to Artist Alley!

I'll tease you today with a single photo, and I'll provide a few more for your viewing pleasure at the beginning of the week. Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Potion #78 ?!?!

Yes, Love Potion #78. If you thought that #9 was good, you're going to love this!
If you want to wrap the one you love in love... Bless Their Heart...
or tell them that you're sew in love...You'll find the perfect Valentines Day Gift at Artist Alley. Artist Alley is home to affordable artwork created right here in North Carolina by over sixty talented artisans. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One-of-a-Kind Valentines for Your One-of-a-Kind Love

Gifts for the men in your life...
Gifts for the women...
And gifts for your happy home...
Affordable Artwork Made in North Carolina...The Gift That Keeps Giving.