Category Archives: Shopping

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!

Meet the Maker: North Mountain Candle Company

Callie Altman, owner of North Mountain Candle Company, has been making candles for twelve years. Her journey began one Christmas while trying to come up with a way to make gifts for the holiday budget-friendly. She decided to take her love of candles to the next level and make a few herself. They were a hit with her friends and family, and over the next year she transformed the experiment into a business that continues to reflect her love of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

North Mountain Candle Company takes its name from an actual mountain in a small former mining community called Longdale, where Callie grew up.

Photo Credit: Brittany Smejkal, Eccentric Photography

“Almost all of my childhood memories involve the outdoors in some way, shape or form,” Callie recalls. “From hiking along the Appalachian Trail to camping at Douthat State Park, or fishing on the Cowpasture River. The main driving force behind my business is to share my love of the Blue Ridge Mountains around the world. It’s a wonderful place to live, grow up, and raise a family. Our scents are inspired by this area.”

With scents like Mill Mountain Magnolia, Hotel Roanoke Spoonbread, and Smith Mountain Lake House, just lighting one of these unique creations is enough to take anyone back to their best memories of Southwest Virginia. Every candle is 100% handmade. Callie and her family try to get everything they use for the candles locally to support local sustainable businesses. They don’t mass produce anything, and there are no machines. Every inch of the process from making the candles to printing off labels is done by hand.

When she isn’t making candles, Callie can be found throughout the community teaching classes at the Omni Homestead or set up anywhere from small school fundraising events to large vintage or antique shows.

This summer, North Mountain Candle Company can be found on and off at the Grandin Village Farmers Market. Currently, they are a fill-in when other vendors are unavailable, but it is a placement that Callie hopes will become permanent in the future. Customers can also find her products in The Hodge Podge across from Lord Botetourt High School, in the Local Artisans section at Natural Bridge State Parks, and The Flower Center in Clifton Forge. Of course, if you cannot make it to any of these locations, you can always check out her selection and order online at www.northmountaincandles.com.

All photos in this post courtesy of Brittany Smejkal, Eccentric Photography. 

Give a Gift They’ll Really Love

Don’t wait until the last minute to do your gift shopping, especially when you’re on a budget. Here are a few ideas to help you out:

For your leading lady: 

Kate Spade Tumbler
With a multitude of patterns and colors, you can keep their drinks cold and stylish!

Cupid Bath Bomb 
A blend of rose and bergamot will fizz away the stress of the day as it melts in warm bath water.

il_340x270.1041904003_gaajAmethyst Air Plant
If she loves foliage around the house, this is a great gift for her! A fully functional plant resides in the amethyst and only needs a little water and a little sunlight once a week to thrive. There are a variety of plants and colors available.

 

For your #ManCrushMonday:

asos-trunks-in-gift-box-with-heart-print-3-pack-black-1481669215ASOS Heart Print Boxers (3 pack, ASOS) 
Keep him comfortable and festive with this mix of black, red, and heart adorned cotton boxers.

Sugarfina Single Malt Scotch Cordials 
With a dark chocolate shell on the outside and a Scotch filled center, it is sure to shock the tastebuds off of your man. The perfect blend of the ingredients is sure to mean they wont stick around long.

Tile Finder
Never lose your keys again! You can attach the tile to just about anything, and when you don’t know where you’ve left it, use the Tile App to locate it.

For the little ones:

Free People Heart Sparklers (Free People)
Eyes wides and hearts aglow, these sparklers are sure to keep the little ones involved in the festivities.

recycled-conversation-heart-crayonsHeart Shaped Message Crayons
Sets of 5 crayons that reminisce on conversation hearts are the perfect gift for the artists in your family. Packaged in cupcake liners, they look almost good enough to eat!

Don’t forget–regardless of your recipient–ChocolatePaper has the cutest array of greeting cards ranging from sentimental to hilarious! Check out their website here.

 

Written by Zoe Pierson

Books We Love

I used to think the whole #adulting thing was something that someone attempted to make popular so they could show off the fact that they bought a lawnmower, or actually loaded and unloaded the dishwasher in the same day. After reading a couple of books exploring the reality of adulting, I am changed.

510VK8Q1dbLAdulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
Through her personal vantage point, she didn’t hold back when she wanted to tell all. She explains things like a friend giving helpful advice, and even gives ingredients to a “grown-up soup.” Not surprising that this one is up there on the New York Times Bestseller list. Self-discovery starts on the first few pages and it was hard, but it helped me to realize that you and everyone you know are not the most perfect people in the world. Making yourself realize you are not perfect is really the first step in lacing up your boots and growing up.  I personally related to Kelly’s struggle to clean the cobwebs off of the baseboards of my 10×10, 67-year-old dorm room. She didn’t shy away from scolding me for not having a separate mop, broom, and dustpan. Moving into college 5 months ago, I firmly believed I only needed a Swiffer.

Womanskills_Hi+Res+CoverWoman Skills: Everything You Need to Know to Impress Everyone by Erin La Rosa
If you’re really into learning exactly how to combat fruit flies or making your own cleaning solutions, this one really gets down to the ingredients of being the ultimate adult. Through encouraging words and detailed advice, the author feeds on the fact that while “adulting” seems hard to wrap your head around, not everyone knows how to do everything you’re “supposed” to know when you move out. Hey, if I can read a book to keep my refrigerator from bursting into flames without learning it the hard way, so be it. The book may be titled “woman skills,” but the vast majority of it is “everyone skills.”

I would recommend these picks to people of all ages, but I’m biased to gifting them to your fellow twenty-somethings, because trust me, they need them. They are hilarious, entertaining, and you can only benefit from reading them.

 

Written by Zoë Pierson

Shop Local in 2017!

We talk about giving back to our community a lot in Bella, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to shop local. The holidays are behind us, and too often at this critical time of year we fall into the slump of making purchases that are convenient at stores where items are on sale. That habit, though all too common, hurts both small businesses and the consumer.

With a simple swipe of your card, you are making a decision. It’s the old adage “quality versus quantity.” You aren’t going to find the same quality items at department stores that you will with local business owners. So, here are some simple ways you can change your habits for the benefit of the community this year:

Buy a new rug. When cold weather comes, we find ourselves redecorating the interior of our homes. One small change can mean a lot for a room. Start by finding the perfect rug at Oriental Rugs Gallery. You can count on your investment lasting for years, and it may be just what you need to enjoy all of the seasons to come.

Try new ingredients. You’ve found some great recipes to start of the new year, but you have no idea where to begin with the oils you need to purchase. Oliveto can help! Their oils are great for bread dipping, salad dressing, as a marinade, in place of butter or vegetable oil, and more! They also have balsamic vinegars that are perfect drizzled over fruit (and the occasional pastry!).

shop_localFind the perfect outfit. It’s never too early to get ready for Valentine’s Day. If you’re already searching for the right dress, Punch Boutique has you covered. (P.S. Ladies, you’ll never go wrong with blue—it stands out in a sea of red!) Pair your gorgeous outfit with a pair of boots or dress shoes from Yarid’s. Anyone who has ever purchased accessories from this amazing store knows that they are quality statement pieces that last for years.

Finally, don’t forget to stop at Chocolate Paper! Whether you’re going for a small, unique gift to give a friend, that planner you forgot to buy before the New Year, or a little chocolate reward for yourself—this is the place to find what is perfect for you!

Most importantly, don’t let the New Year and after Christmas sales at department stores trick you. They only exist to clutter our homes with things we don’t need. Shop with a purpose where your money does the most good for both you and your neighbors!

Oriental Rug Gallery
5999 Franklin Road
Roanoke, VA 24014
540-776-2808

Punch Boutique
3117 Franklin Road SW #6
Roanoke, VA 24014
540-904-6743

Yarid’s Shoes
4714 Starkey Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
540-266-7750

Oliveto
3565 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Chocolate Paper
308 Market St. SE #3
Roanoke, VA 24011

Books We Love: Sound the Deep Waters

Enjoy classic works of literature, poetry and art with editor Pamela Norris’s compilation book, Sound the Deep Waters: Women’s Romantic Poetry in the Victorian Age.

This book of poetry consists of four major sections, sorted by genre, and presented in a way that highlights both the comforting and relatable tones of the dynamic, romantic relationship: “Love’s Bitter Sweets,” “Moments of Delight,” “Dreams and Realities,” and “Last Songs.” Each sections provides readers with 12 poems and prints of artwork to absorb and enjoy.

fullsizerenderFeatured in the book are works from well-respected poets and authors: Emily Dickinson, Emily Jane Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Elliot, Christina Rossetti and many more.
Together these poets bring emotions of love and longing to the surface of each reader’s heart, aided by the classic and intricate illustrations of artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Evelyn de Morgan, and John Everett Millais. These reproductions of Pre-Raphaelite paintings will draw in readers, fully immersing them into the Romantic and Victorian eras of love; depictions of queens, stormy seas, fruitful gardens and angels drape across the pages, bringing the poems to life.

With over 52 color illustrations and 48 poems to explore, Sound the Deep Waters offers an array of classic, Romantic and Victorian poetry. Share this book with your sweetheart, a dear friend, or someone close to your heart to let them know you care. Whether it is for an anniversary, special occasion, birthday, or just because, this compilation of delicate art and literacy will certainly communicate that you care in a refreshingly classic, romantic way.

 

Written by Emily McCaul