Tag Archives: gifts

Giving Back: Craftsmen’s Classic

The Craftsmen’s Classic Show at the Berglund Center is the second largest food drive all year for Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The event will take place October 13-15, and offers free admission with a food donation. In years past, the event has brought in thousands of pounds of food for the area. Food banks like Feeding America Southwest Virginia are essential to our community. According to www.faswva.org, “The USDA estimates that 42.2 Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.”

Without that knowledge, it is difficult to imagine that so many of your neighbors could be going hungry. This makes holding donations for admission to events like the Craftsmen’s Classic Show an integral part of helping meet the nutritional needs of families in Southwest Virginia.

In addition to helping out local families, this is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping and support artisans at a time of year when every penny counts for small businesses. Nine Craftsmen’s Classics are held annually and throughout the year in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Gilmore Enterprises, Inc. takes producing each event seriously. Every show contains a careful balance of traditional and contemporary works. Ultimately, hundreds of artists and craftsmen from over 20 states are featured. They are juried and selected for originality and creative excellence.

Because these qualities are so important, there is something for everyone at this event. Enjoy new exhibitors and familiar favorites as you browse pottery, fine art, glass, jewelry, baskets, weaving, clothing, furniture, sculpture, photography, wood, and more! The event will also include specialty foods. All items are made by the participating artists and craftsmen. You won’t find any of these items in the “big box” retail stores. Many exhibitors even welcome requests for custom work, allowing them to explore their creativity to create a personalized gift for you or your loved one. Between collectibles, home accessories, and personal treasures for all ages, you have an opportunity to find something for everyone on your list!

Visit www.craftshow.com for more information on this event! We look forward to seeing you there!

Blue Ridge Potters Guild Annual Show

Blue Ridge Potters Guild will host their 17th Annual Show and Sale at Patrick Henry High School on October 14-16. This event showcases over 70 local artists and offers an incredible range of hand crafted pottery. It will also mark the 20th birthday celebration of the Blue Ridge Potters Guild, a community made up of over 115 members who share ideas and promote the work of local and regional potters. Their mission is to promote community awareness, understanding, and appreciation of pottery. Members can often be found teaching or attending workshops and volunteering their time to teach pottery in local schools.

Regardless of how many years they have worked with the guild, members seem to reflect this mission in both their work and their interactions with the community.

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Artist Beth Wiseman

Beth Wiseman, who is serving as the Publicity Chair this year, joined the guild two years ago. Within the guild, there are those who have been creating pottery for over forty years and there are also beginners.
“I’ve been doing pottery for three and a half years,” says Beth. “With this organization, I’ve found a great place for a newcomer, like myself, to reach out and get some expertise from those who are more experienced.”

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Beth Wiseman pottery

Beth’s pieces tend to fall more in the functional category of pottery. Her works include coffee mugs, bowls, and soap dishes. Recently, she’s been excited about creating jewelry pieces that she thinks are going to be pendants.

Using a technique called sgraffito, Beth creates unique designs in the clay that reflect her mood. “Sgraffito is the process of painting on an underglaze and carving the negative space to reveal a design underneath. It is akin to woodblock carving. It can be used in any surface design,” she explains.

As far as the design she chooses, much of her inspiration comes from her previous occupation as a park ranger. She does not strive to duplicate any design as she prefers each piece to be an individual piece of art. However, some of the process is influenced by her children, ages five and eight.

“My children are with me most of the time. My husband recently set up a studio for me in our basement and they are usually in the playroom while I’m working. This allows me to do something for myself and be there for my kids,” says Beth. “Sometimes, my daughter will come over and make a suggestion. I once did a series of foxes on mugs just because she suggested it. Children are so uninhibited. They haven’t been told what’s right and what’s wrong, so some of their ideas tend to be fresher.”

Of course, going into a piece of work with a plan does not always turn out the way Beth intended.

“Clay doesn’t always turn out the way you think it’s going to. You have to be accepting of that, and sometimes it can turn out better than you planned. The entire process has helped me let go of being a perfectionist. As I get older, I’m far more accepting of things that don’t turn out the way I think they should. I remind myself to not let the perfect get in the way of the good,” says Beth.

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Artist Elane Watson

For Elane Watson, an experienced potter of several decades, planning is not an issue. At 41 years old, she enrolled at Kansas State University, where she got her BFA with an emphasis in ceramics. Initially, she was interested in painting, but those classes were full. Upon receiving this news, she wandered down the hall where a pottery class with one empty seat awaited. The teacher assured her that she could paint on clay. There, she started in a form of pottery called Raku and continues to work in it today.

“Basically, I don’t plan. I call myself an intuitive artist. I always start with a bowl. I call my pieces ‘Praise Pots’ because they always start with a pot. I then let it guide me as to how I end up with my design. Sometimes I will put actual arms on them. Sometimes I’ll shape them into the pots themselves,” explains Elane.

Viewing Elane’s work is a memorable experience. She often records the reaction of passersby in a notebook, even if they don’t make a purchase.

“My Praise Pots always have their mouths open and rejoicing,” she adds. “Everyone can recognize my work by that. Even if I don’t sell it, it makes people happy, and that is my goal.”

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Elane Watson Pottery

With her Praise Pots, Elane works with a technique called coiling. This process requires that she add one coil at a time to create the piece. She also works with a slab roller for her beautiful tiles with intricate designs that often include an array of geometric shapes. Additionally, Elane creates beautiful jewelry and works of art from fused glass. Each piece is unique and showcases the skill she has developed over the years.

One of Elane’s Praise Pots, inspired by the Prodigal Son, will be on display at this year’s show. The Gallery theme is “Coming Home,” and one can’t help but feel the joy of the son wrapped in his father’s arms, forever cast in a happy embrace.

Several other members of the Blue Ridge Potters Guild will have work on display in the same gallery, and they will be judged by PR entrepreneur, River Laker. Winning pieces will be awarded certificates of merit based on the quality of the work as it relates to various aspects of the theme.

To learn more about the Blue Ridge Potters Guild, and for more information on their annual show, go to www.blueridgepottersguild.com. The show will take place at Patrick Henry High School on Friday, October 14 (6pm-9pm), Saturday, October 15 (10am-6pm), and Sunday, October 16 (12pm-5pm). Admission is free and cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted for purchases.

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are right around the corner! If you are looking for a meaningful, unique gift, we are here to help. Check out these ideas from UncommonGoods:

glassesWooden Martini Glasses: A great gift for your favorite hostess, the bowl and base of this glass are crafted from black walnut with a handsome grain that echoes the ripples in your drink. Wood is a better insulator than glass and helps keep cocktails chilled longer. They are finished with FDA-approved sealant to keep the wood from interfering with the beverage’s flavors. Sold on their webpage in sets of two. 

Mother Nestling Birds Necklace: Inspired by moms but made for anyone, these newly redesigned recycled sterling silver necklaces are sweet, simple and bound to become an everyday favorite. These darling birds are a great holiday gift for moms and grandmothers! Visit UncommonGoods to purchase one for your loved one.

millSteampunk Coffee Mill: Perfect for the coffee lover in your life, this steampunk-inspired design is highlighted by a black walnut lid and cast iron grinder. It holds enough coffee beans to make 4-5 cups of drip coffee. After being grinded, the aromatic grounds settle in a mason jar container, ready to perk the recipient up for their morning routine. Follow this link for more information. 

Uncommon Goods is full of unique holiday gift ideas for every special person in your life! Also, as an independently-owned business, they have the freedom to support several nonprofit organizations. With every purchase made on their site, they donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice. Charities they support include RAINN, American Forests, Women for Women International, and Reach Out and Read.

 

Check out their website for more information, and pick up a November issue of Bella Magazine for more holiday gift suggestions!

 

Hosting a Dinner Party

Some might call the dinner party a lost art, but gathering family and friends around the table to eat great food, drink fantastic wine and enjoy each other’s company is the perfect way to celebrate. Creating an elegant, effortless evening to remember is easier than one might think.

Perfecting the dinner party is about putting people at ease and creating an environment that encourages conversation and laughter – the two most important elements of a successful dinner party. So, instead of trying to impress guests with fancy culinary skills or decorating prowess, focus on five simple tips:

1. Light can be the life of the party

From glowing centerpieces to sparkling votive candles, elegant party lighting is always a bright idea. Candles set the mood and create ambiance – and allow your guests to truly shine.

2. Let the wine flow

The right wine can perfect the moment and no dinner party would be complete without it. Greet guests with a bright and beautiful sparkling rose and keep it flowing during the cocktail hour. During dinner, offer one red and one white wine.

3. Of course dessert is a food group!

Dessert is the perfect way to end an amazing meal. Leave your guests floating on air with angel food cake topped with a Prosecco-infused frosting.

4. Don’t let guests leave empty-handed

Giving guests a little something to take home when they leave extends the good vibes. Say goodnight in a unique way by sending guests home with a bottle of wine or votive candle to re-create the magic in their own home.

New Image365. Remember to breathe

If you’re having fun, your guests will too. Take a deep breath and, while you’re at it, give your red wine a little air, too. Aerators open up the aromas and flavors, making every sip better.

The Lindee Tree: College Life

You have been nurturing, coaching, teaching and preparing your child for this pivotal moment. The grand entry into adulthood. College. It is a big transition for everyone and moving this big, new life into a tiny space can be challenging!

I wanted a one stop shop to make this process easy, affordable and comfortable. I found exactly what I wanted at Bed Bath and Beyond. They offer a FREE in store service called, Pack & Hold®. This service helps students easily get their stuff to college and is especially beneficial for those attending a school that is distant from home. Students can select dorm room essentials at their home store and then have everything ready to pick up for purchase at a store near campus for FREE! Here are some items from BB&B to help make this move fun, easy and stress free.

Pop up hamper BenBedding

The “Campus Collection” bedding comes in a variety of colors and patterns to match any personality, style or decor. It is designed to fit the extra long beds often found in dorm rooms. For a great price, you get quality products that are durable and easy to wash.

Storage

For your closet, a Studio 3B 6-Shelf Sweater Organizer is fantastic. It fits right over your closet rod and you can pack it with much more than sweaters. It also has pockets on the side for accessories and other personal items.

Food/Beverages

School meal programs are often buffet style, Mini Keurig 1so take extra food back to your room in storage containers and store them in a mini fridge.

Instead of overpriced coffee, use this little Keurig. It comes in a variety of colors and is the perfect petite size for a dorm room.

Laundry

The Novelty Laundry Bags are great way to keep your laundry tied up until laundry day. They also make it easy to carry.

This Pop-Up Flip Hamper is also great. You can use it as a hamper in your room, then zip it and carry it on laundry day. When laundry is clean and folded, pack it back into the hamper to carry back.

Showers

Laundry bag AlexFlip flops, shower caddies and these Dri Soft Towels are a must. These towels come in varied colors and dry ultra fast so they are easier to store in your dorm room.

What to wear?

College gear* of course! These students will be attending WVU and Virginia Tech. For our lady, I found University Girls Apparel at ugapparel.com. They have a wide variety of accessories, tops, jackets and even dresses. This is definitely the place to shop for the female student or fan.

Campus Emporium in Blacksburg, VA is the best place to go for your Virginia Tech gear. You can also visit them online. They have clothing, decor, accessories and more!

Ben and Alex 1*Our female model is wearing WVU apparel from University Girls Apparel. Our male model is wearing Virginia Tech apparel from Campus Emporium.

For more information, visit Lindee’s website and “like” her on Facebook.com/lindeetree.

Lindee Katdare is the Chief Artist/Designer for “The Lindee Tree.” She teaches vegetarian cooking classes at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op, designs numerous art events in the Roanoke Valley and is passionate about re-purposing and up-cycling items. You can also catch her hosting “Living with Lindee” every Tuesday on NBC, WSLS 10 “Daytime Blue Ridge.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Ladies, Father’s Day is right around the corner! A lot of dads are hard to shop for– but we have some great suggestions for those of you who still need to find the perfect gift. No matter what you choose, don’t forget that quality time is the most important gift you can give to the dad that you love.

Dad can always use a comfortable recliner. Quality brands, like La-Z-Boy, can be purchased at Grand Home Furnishings in Roanoke across from Tanglewood Mall. They are having a sale this weekend, ending Monday, in which you can get up to 51% off of ALL La-Z-Boy furniture. Selecting the right color, style and size is important because this could be a staple in your home for years. Visit their website for more information on the styles they offer and to find out if a location near you carries the one you love most!

We just received samples of this cologne, and you are going to love it! A new line of British Sterling fragrances was released in April called H.I.M. It is short for “His Imperial Majesty” and a nod to King George VI. Eventually, the brand plans to release a full line of luxury grooming products in addition to the fragrances that will combine quality, innovation and style. For now, the two fragrances, “Reserve” and “Private Stock,” are available for purchase at many stores in our area. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

father_and_kidsMany of us have been there– your husband or your dad are complaining half way through a shopping trip that their shoes are uncomfortable. Or, his flip flop breaks midway through a family outing. Find out his shoe size, and take a quick trip to Bush Flora in Towers Mall. They offer a wide selection of comfortable and stylish shoes for men. With summer vacations and many backyard barbecues on the horizon, we all know how important it is that your favorite fellas are wearing the right shoes.

Happy Father’s Day to the dads in our lives and yours! We hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Your bridesmaids have been there through thick and thin. Every time you were stressed. Every time you needed to vent about bad service, your slow-growing hair, or (gasp!) your almost in-laws– they have let you have your say and assured you that in the end, it will all work out. Let them know how much you appreciate them by putting some thought in to their gifts. In addition to individual personalization (check out our Pinterest for ideas), consider splurging a little for your best friends. Here are some ideas for a gift they will enjoy and remember for years to come:

Put together a gift basket: 

VAN_CANDLE__02220_1391360474_451_416MSC Skin Care + Home has a variety of gifts for everyone in your wedding party. We love their soy candles. In addition to the benefits of using 100% pure soy wax, they offer many unique scent combinations like Bourbon Vanilla and Oak, Ginger and Vanilla, Agave Nectar and Green Tea and more! Their impressive skin care line includes moisturizers, exfoliating scrubs, lip creams, herbal spa soaks– everything you need to gift the gift of a DIY spa experience. They also offer products for men– just in case you end up buying gifts for the groomsmen as well!

tuberose_body_creme_copy_web_1Your girls will love Kat Burki’s Signature Body Creme. The packaging is beautiful on its own, so you will not need to waste any time wrapping it. Additionally, the quick absorbing, ultra-rich creme offers long-lasting hydration with Tamanu and Jojoba Oils while a proprietry organic herb blend works to calm and soothe skin. It is available in four signature fragrances: Tuberose, Freesia & Pink Grapefruit, White Orchid & Poppy, and Lilac & Rosemary. Go to Kat’s website for more information and to purchase a few for your friends!

Day or Weekend Trips:

Take a spur of the moment adventure together to a place that is an easy driving distance from your home. The distance gives you a little flexibility for those that cannot spend the whole weekend away. The Floyd Artisan Tour, from June 14-16, is perfect for those who desire the option for many different activities but do not want to travel out of state. The three day tour features over 50 locations across Floyd County with activities at artisan home studios, galleiries and shops, wineries, farms and farm markets, restaurants, and lodging sites. Some of these stops will offer specials, discounts, or complimentary items to tour visitors. Check out their website for more information.

Pick up our June { celebrations!! } issue of Bella Magazine for more gift ideas for your wedding party and the newlyweds!

 

Pinterest Inspired

Despite what you may have been led to believe, you do not have to spend $10,000 on your wedding day to make it perfect. Our June issue is full of ideas to cut costs and still host the best celebration your guests will attend this year! Pick up your copy today, and look for our article on Pinterest inspired ideas that will add an inexpensive but personal touch to your wedding!

The traditional cake topper may not appeal to you. Visit www.etsy.com for many shops with unique cake toppers. MeltingPotLove has several to fit almost every couple’s needs. If you do not see a cake topper that matches you and your spouse-to-be, they can create one just for you!

weddingpartyweddingparty1Plan ahead for your “Thank You” cards. Use your family and friends to create memorable photos and cards you can send to guests. Obviously, you are going to want to send them (unless you never want a thank you card or gift for any other occasion). Ask your wedding party to hold letters in one of your photos that spell the words, “Thank you.” Many photographers will let you use the image on websites like Shutterfly to print your cards. (Just remember, ask first!)

Think outside of the box for wedding party gifts. Pinterest has plenty of DIY ideas, but you can also check out Etsy.com for so many wonderful gifts for your loved ones. In addtion to being reasonably priced, they are already made!

wineforawedding1For any member of the wedding party, or for the bride and groom themselves, consider a personalized wine box from Wine for a Wedding. These boxes are perfect to celebrate any occasion, and you can have a special message engraved on the inside of the lid. You even have the option of ordering a bottle of wine to include in the box! They can create a box just for you by incorporating your photos, invitations, specific monograms, or a completely custom design to fit your needs. Visit their website to place your order. Watch our Facebook page this week for a chance to win a wine box of your very own!

 

We are constantly pinning new ideas to our Pinterest boards. Follow us, and stay updated on the latest wedding DIY projects, gifts for your family, and more!