Category Archives: Shopping

Bella Finds: Supernatural Kitchen!

Spring and Easter are right around the corner, and bring cupcakes and goodies along with them! Supernatural Kitchen offers plant-based food coloring with no artificial colors. Just mix the vegan and gluten free powder in some water, and you’re good to go! Color icing, cookie mix, and cake batter to make your deserts fun and festive. And to top off those goodies add some of their soy-free, plant-based sprinkles. Choose ‘white sequins’ for a simple toping, or ‘rainbow starfetti’ for a fun and colorful addition. You can order from their website, www.supernaturalkitchen.com, where they also offer recipes for Ombre pancakes, Sunny Day cake, and even a tip on how to make your morning toast more fun!

Written by Samantha Fantozzi

Virginia Made: The Leather Lotus

Little green sprouts will soon begin to make their debut. The occasional hint of a warm day will bring smiles to faces and a little extra pep to everyone’s step. It may not feel like it quite yet but spring is on the horizon. With the start of each new season comes inspiration and new ideas. Her love of the outdoors is where Taylor Smith finds her own creative inspiration to create handmade jewelry. A reflection of leather and natural beauty, her business The Leather Lotus is taking everyday casual to the next level.

Inspired by the colors of the season, Taylor’s jewelry is designed around a carefully selected stone or piece of metal before various colored leather is chosen to complement the element. The textures and shapes used seem right at home in her favorite photo studio, the great outdoors, as she photographs each piece for her Etsy shop. Taylor still remembers fondly the day she heard “cha-ching!” the sound that has become music to an online seller’s ears. Having no idea what it meant, she looked at her phone and was ecstatic to find notification of her first sale, a leather wrap bracelet. To this day, the sound still evokes the same excitement as if it were the very first.  More than a few products later, the fringe earrings offered by The Leather Lotus are this maker’s must have wardrobe accessory. “Something about fringe just seems like so much fun to me. Pair them with a basic tee and jeans and suddenly I feel excited!”

The best of both worlds is how Taylor describes her life as a stay at home mom and entrepreneur. She takes pride in the two young boys, Grayson (4) and Finn (2) whom she and her husband are now raising in Roanoke. A native of the area and a Hokie for life, there’s no place Taylor would rather be than outside with her boys chasing chickens. Although, a vacation to the small island in Puerto Rico where she and her husband honeymooned or Spain would not be unwelcome. Nap times are for making jewelry and craft shows a welcome break in the routine of full-time wife and mother. It’s a way to connect with amazing customers as well as fellow makers who have become friends. Taylor’s advice to anyone contemplating starting a new business? “Go for it! I had so many hesitations when I started this. It has grown more than I ever thought it would and I love every minute of it.”

This month, we will hosting a giveaway on our Facebook page for The Leather Lotus! Taylor is giving away a $50 gift card to her Etsy page! Stay tuned!
Also, use the code BELLA during the month of March for 20% off in her shop!

Find The Leather Lotus:
theleatherlotus.etsy.com
FB: /theleatherlotus
IG: /theleatherlotus

 

Written by Faith Jones

Bella Reads: Mod New York

Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip was written by Phyllis Magidson and Donald Albrecht. Both authors work as curators for the Museum of the City of New York; Magidson for costumes and Albrecht for architecture and design. Fashion Takes a Trip goes through the important moments and times of fashion history. Walking through the years from the 1940s to the mid 1970s, this book will tell you about Jackie Kennedy and how she impacted the fashion world with the clothes she wore; changes made for youthquake (a time when fashion changed to aim more towards youths); and what New Bohemia was. Its language is simple, and easy to understand and the images used help to play into this as well. Instead of the clothing and styles being described within the texts, images are used to show exactly what was being worn. This also makes it easier to compare fashion between sections and time periods. Followed by images, these sections aren’t too long, and they are straight to the point. Mod New York confirms that fashion is in fact changing all the time, and we are shown this between the matching coat and dress combination of Jackie Kennedy all the way to the colorful, flower printed chiffon dresses of the New Bohemia.

Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip is a very informative book about the history of fashion and what impacts it has had, and the added images show you the changes between the years. This book is one that would be beneficial for someone who has an interest in either the history of fashion, or just fashion in general. It shows where fashion has been, and it just might inspire ideas on where it could go next.

 

Written by Samantha Fantozzi 

Virginia Made: Shop Local!

Cozy. The word itself evokes images of crackling fires and hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. Cold days are here and snow is on the horizon. Extra blankets are thrown over beds, winter decorations adorn the walls and scarves are a must. The season for all things cozy and warm has arrived.

Simple and classic. That’s how Chandy Haskins of The Nifty Needles describes her knitting style. Taught at a young age by her oldest sister, the 24-year-old has turned a hobby into a business. Palettes of navy, gray, and cream come to life in her downtown historical Danville apartment. There Chandy creates puffy cloud-like blankets using super soft bulky yarn. “I am definitely the cat lady of the family, known for my love of naps and carrying my own blanket to the movie theatre.” When she’s not knitting Chandy is likely to be hiking, reading with her cat, or watching old movies. That is, if she’s not travelling the world.  (Find Chandy on Instagram @theniftyneedles. This month, she is giving away a 45×65 Bulky Knit Blanket to one lucky Bella reader! She has also provided a coupon code for free shipping:SHIPMEFREE12.)

Under over, under over, under over. As a working mom of two young children, Christine Dwyer is no stranger to stress. Looking for a creative outlet from her day to day job in public relations, Christine discovered the meditative process of fiber arts. Learning through books and tutorials, a class with Maryanne Moodie along with a nudge from friends and family, inspired her to start Copper and Fringe. The unique wall creations are made on a frame loom using cotton, wool and alpaca yarn for varying textures and are customized to order. “Advice starting a business? Don’t rush into it. Take it slow, hone your skill, and invest time. The rest will come.”
Christine enjoys weaving, teaching classes and spending time with family in the Virginia Beach area. Find her at West Elm and somewhere between avoiding seafood and grooving to Landslide by Stevie Nicks.  (Email Christine at copperandfringe@gmail.com, or find her on Instagram @copperandfringe! This month, she is giving away a free custom small weaving to one lucky Bella reader.)

The Minted Evergreen is more than just the name of a business. For Kasie Chapman it brings back memories of her childhood home in Michigan surrounded by blue spruce trees and camping amongst evergreens. Kasie is a self-taught maker of knits, crochet and macramé in Lynchburg. She enjoys working in earth tones and neutrals with a pop of color to create stylish knitwear and home décor. “I’m a wife, mama, believer, maker and wanna-be homesteader.
Making and Jesus are what help keep me sane. Well, those and date nights.” Kasie and her husband hope to own a farm one day. In the meantime, homeschooling her wildlings, gardening, and tacos will have to do. (Find Kasie on Instagram @themintedevergreen. This month, she’s giving away a $50 credit to her Etsy shop to one lucky Bella reader, and offering a coupon code: MEETMINTEDINBELLA for 15%off!)

 

Written by Faith Jones of The Hill City Handmade and Faith Inspired.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers!

The holidays are right around the corner, which means you’ve already begun the stress of finding gifts for your loved ones. If you’re like me, diving into the stockings on Christmas morning is one of your favorite holiday activities. Here are some new ideas for gifts to add to your list of stocking stuffers for the adults in your life!

For Her:

  • TonyMoly I’m Real Mask Sheet Bundle: Get her a week’s worth of TonyMoly face masks this Christmas. From skin brightening to pore care, this fan-favorite skincare brand has 11 different face masks for you to choose from!
  • Tile Style Pro Series: If she’s like me, she’s always losing her phone! That also means she’ll love this gift. This small and sleek-looking Tile gadget will help her find her phone wherever she’s left it. Simply double tap the Tile and their phone will ring, even when it’s on silent!
  • Eos: A gift that every woman loves? Chapstick. We just can’t get enough of it! Throw some Eos in her stocking this Christmas that will leave her lips feeling healthy and smooth with the added vitamin E.
  • Burts Bees Everyday Beauty Essential Kit: Everyone loves Burt’s Bees, and this set contains five of their most popular beauty products in the cutest travel sizes. Pamper your whole body with their Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, Hand Salve, Milk and Honey Body Lotion, classic Beeswax Lip Balm, and Coconut Foot Cream.
  • Invisibobble Hair Tie: This revolutionary hair tool will put an end to all the challenges she’s ever had tying up her hair. Invisibobble hair ties will take the pressure off her ponytail with these hair caring, no split end, stretchy hair ties that won’t leave a single crease in their hair.

For Him:

  • Anker Phone Charger: Keep his phone charged with this Anker charger that will power up his phone four times faster than it would at any computer USB port. When at full capacity, the Anker charger can give his phone up to two complete charges.
  • Harry’s Razors Winston Set: Give him the gift of a Christmas shave. Complete with a comfortable die-cast zinc and polished chrome body, a set of two extra blades, shaving cream, and a protective case, this shaving kit can be made even more personal with his engraved initials.
  • Duke Cannon Big American Bourbon Soap: Taking a shower will be his new favorite activity with this Buffalo Trace bourbon-infused soap that’ll leave anyone wondering where you found this!
  • American Crew Forming Cream: One of the best brands in men’s haircare, this Crew Forming Cream helps hair appear thicker while providing hold, pliability, and shine.

Written by Taylor Ward

 

A Book That Takes Its Time

Mindfulness is “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences happening in the present moment.” In a world filled with so much hustle and bustle, a world where we believe in cramming as much as possible into our schedules, it seems almost impossible to be mindful. Time is precious, and we seem to want to plan it down to the very last second. But with all our busy schedules, is there any time left to enjoy life in the present moment? Can we truly be mindful?

Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst, two authors who have taken notice of this problem, have sat down and created a book to do something about it. Beginning their career as editors at Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, they are now the cofounders and creative directors of Flow magazine, a popular international publication filled with paper goodies and beautiful illustrations that celebrate creativity, imperfection, and positivity. Smit and Van der Hulst, have invented a Flow book that adds a little more stillness, downtime, and thought to your life. An unhurried adventure in creative mindfulness, A Book That Takes Its Time inspires you to do just that…take your time. Smit and Van der Hulst’s new book is all about taking time to breathe, time to learn, time to create, time to reflect, time to let go, and time to be kind. With each page encouraging you to linger and engage with each topic, this book is truly one where you will take your time. Filled with postcards, stickers, decorative papers, and hands-on activities like crafts, prompts, and journals, your work will result in cherished keepsakes.

A Book That Takes Its Time is the epitome of slowing down and living life in the now. In hopes that their book will lessen your worries and help you feel more at peace, Smit and Van der Hulst encourage you to find satisfaction through mindfulness. The only request that Smit and Van der Hulst have for their readers is that they take their time flipping through the pages and enjoying all this creative piece of mindfulness has to offer.

 

Written by Taylor Ward

Art by Sharell

Sharell Whipple graduated in 2010 with a degree in animal biology. Soon after, she began a petsitting business.

“I took really nice photos of the pets and left them for the owners to find when they came back. One day, I took one of the photos, painted it, and gave it to the family as a Christmas gift,” Sharell recalls. “That was the first time I experimented with painting, and I fell in love with it.”

After her first piece was complete, Sharell continued painting pets, and eventually expanded into nature scenes, keeping her vibrant, colorful feel.

“I think painting on wood adds that extra element of nature. Also, a lot of the wood I paint on is extra smooth and sanded. It doesn’t have that texture that canvas has, so I can blend differently on wood,” she explains.

Many of Sharell’s nature pieces are influenced by her adventures with her husband. One of her early works was a Blue Ridge Mountain scene. At the time, she was living in California. She painted the landscape with acrylic paint, and added the quotation from John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” It’s the one piece that she has never sold because she loves it so much, and it now hangs on her bedroom wall.

Sharell can often be found creating art in the bay window her red brick home surrounded by a quiet neighborhood in those same Blue Ridge Mountains she painted just a few years ago. There, she can see deer walking through her front yard. She can hear the creek trickling right outside her window. It provides a connection to nature that translates gracefully into her art. However, sometimes she needs to step outside her peaceful home to spark creativity.

“I feel most inspired to create pieces when I’m away from my studio. When I’m out backpacking in the middle of nowhere and it’s quiet, the fireflies are glowing, and the total tranquility of beautiful sunsets surrounds me. I’ll go back to my studio, and I may not paint the sunset, but I’ll use the colors to paint a completely different subject matter,” she says.

You can find Sharell’s work at The Big Latch on Roanoke at Roanoke College on August 5, Riot Rooster on November 17-18, and locally at Kozy Comfort Kountry Store in Hardy. If you can’t make it to any of these locations, please check out her work on her website, www.artbysharell.com.

What We’re Reading: Wild

Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion (A Photicular Book) shines a spotlight on the mammals, birds, and insects currently threatened with extinction.

With Dan Kainen’s masterful Photicular technology, readers are treated to eight movie-like images of a diverse range of endangered species, including a rare Amur leopard licking its paw, a pair of gorillas at play, a young rhinoceros speeding ahead of its mother, and an elephant bathing in a river. Each scene is paired with an informative profile by science writer Kathy Wollard.

Readers will learn that an albatross can float through cold air currents for hundreds of miles without once flapping its wings, that a leopard can leap about 20 feet into the air, and that there are more than 250 species of bumblebees in existence. They will also learn about the devastating environmental and economic conditions that threaten these animals’ survival, and the steps that conservationists are taking to stop (and in some cases reverse) the damage.

Wild will be available where books are sold on September 5, but you can win a copy over on our Facebook page in August! Stay tuned!