Thursday, July 9, 2020

Big News! Introducing Blue Ridge Alchemy!


So, a bit of BIG news! Earlier this year my husband and his friend Caleb decided to rent a glass shop together.  This would move Kenan's glass shop out of the basement and into the town of Floyd. The building they found was almost perfect! It has an apartment upstairs, that Caleb is renting and a store front!


The guys have been putting a ton of work into the building to make sure the ventilation is good for glass blowing, building new work benches and getting the store front ready for business.


Blue Ridge Alchemy is a functional glass shop where both Kenan and Caleb work daily. It also has space for students and visiting glass instructors. Their plan is to eventually host classes and workshops once the coronvirus madness has calmed down a bit.  


The storefront just recently opened and is only open for limited days/hours. Right now it's open Friday and Sat 12-8pm.  We are just beginning to fill the store, but there is lots of glass work from Kenan, Caleb, me and even a few pieces from Sequoia. We'll soon be carrying other glass artists work as well.


Just a tiny sampling of some of the things you may find at Blue Ridge Alchemy.  This is a sample of Caleb's work. He works with both glass and copper electro-forming to create some really original glass work. He can also be found on Etsy and instagram.


We have a nice selection of handcrafted jewelry from Dark Gem Industries.


A small display of some of my work, which i really need to be making more. i haven't been in the glassshop since they moved it, and have been so focused on sewing and gardening i haven't had much to contribute to the store.  


We have some gorgeous art prints by Kaitlyn Page , pottery by several Floyd artists. Wood crafts, bamboo flutes and more!


During store hours guests will also get a chance to watch live glass blowing! 
Blue Ridge Alchemy has been a long time coming. There is still a ton of work to do to get everything set up as it should be and to get the store filled, but it's really coming along. Caleb has taken the reins on the store front, while Kenan is working on putting together classes and events they can host. 

For anyone traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting Floyd, be sure and stop by The Blue Ridge Alchemy and say hello! You can follow along on our adventures here and see new merchandise and featured artists as we fill up the store. 2020 has been a real drag on our plans for the shop/store, but i really feel it will all come together and work out fine.  #visitfloydVA #floydartisans #shoplocal #thisisfloyd



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Quarantines and Garden Rambles.

How is it already July?   i've been a bit behind with my posting, 2020 has been quite a year for a number of reasons. The kids ended school in March, due to the Coronavirus quarantine.  My son missed the end of his senior year, but was still able to graduate in June.  i'll make another post about that eventually. My folks moved down here from MI and bought a house not far away in the next county over.  Kenan moved his glass shop to Floyd (another post) and i've just been home with the kids doing what we do. Nothing else has really changed too much.


We had some weird weather in May (21 degrees!!) so things are a bit behind. 


Harvest 5-23-2020  Sppring temps were weird, but i did manage to get a few cold crops planted. So by the end of May we were getting asparagus and radishes. My spinach did terrible, but i did get a bit and the strawberries came from a pot that had overwintered in the greenhouse. We were getting shiitake and oysters on and off all winter and my hens began laying eggs again in February. 


6-4-2020  First week of June we started seeing garlic scapes. Rhubarb is ready to harvest and lettuce is just starting to come in.


6-11-2020  Almost the second week of June before we start to see peas.  Still getting a few radish, although they are starting to bolt now. Plenty of lettuce ready, still getting mushrooms and eggs.


6-16-2020  Found our first Chicken of the season!  Getting tons of Garlic scapes, peas, eggs and carrots are ready to pick.


6-30-2020  Ending June with another Chicken of the Woods. Also found a few wild chanterelles and getting shiitakes again.   Everything is about a month behind.  Normally i would already be getting tomatoes, squash and beans.  They are still a few weeks off for a variety of reasons. The deer found 2 of my fenced gardens and ate all the beans, so my bean harvest this year will not be great. Tomatoes are loaded with green fruits, but still have a while before they ripen and my squash didn't germinate well. After replanting repeatedly, i finally have a couple plants that appear to be close to blooming.

We have so much to do at home to stay busy, it hasn't felt like much of a quarantine. However the closer we get to school starting up, the more anxious i get about it.  We've felt quite protected here in our bubble, but once school begins we will lose that feeling of protection. Especially with my son headed off to college in just about a month. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

End of 2019 recap

 The end of 2019, was a crazy busy time.  December is always busy just with the holidays, but then add in christmas parades and band concerts, plus this year i sign up to set up at a couple different shows.  It's a wonder i ever got any shopping or cookie baking done. 


The first event i set up at was the Gift Local Holiday Market in Roanoke at the GreenBrier Nursery.  It was a really nice event with live music and plenty of vendors. It was a very different crowd from the Artisan Market in Floyd, which made for a very different experience.


Despite being the middle of December it was pretty mild out, and the solarium got really warm during the day once the sun came out. So even though we were set up sort of outside, it was very comfortable. i really enjoyed the event and look forward to doing it again next year.


My market friend Sarah invited me to set up at her open house at Spoon Mountain Farm. It was a really small event with only 4 of us set up, but it was also a lot of fun. 


Only a couple people attended the open house, but i still did better than i do at some market nights. 


Somehow with everything else going on i still managed to do a little holiday baking and decorating, although definitely not to the extend that i've done in the past.


Our holiday cards were put together about a week before xmas. Trying to get a photo with both teens home at the same time and cooperating was nearly impossible. i gave up all hope of getting one with all 4 of us, and finally managed to get this one after a bit of yelling and threatening.   i only got cards sent out to maybe 5 people, before giving up entirely.  


i did manage to get a family photo on xmas.  We are only missing one kitty and me in the photo, as i was taking the photo. As the kids get older and life gets busier, it's getting harder and harder to get photos of all of us together. 


December was so mild, we ended up going for a hike after opening gifts. We took two of the dogs and just made a day of it.  It was really nice spending the day together.  Life has just gotten so busy these days and i don't see it slowing down any time soon.  This pretty much wrapped up our 2019. We had a few lazy days to end out the month, before starting fresh in 2020. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Rituals for the Holidays- The Ritual of Sakura (sponsored)


Everyone love getting a gift in the mail. i recently was gifted this beautiful Rituals of Sakura set to try out.   #TheRitualofSakura medium gift set is another great product by Rituals Cosmetics. Rituals is a unique luxury lifestyle brand focused on ancient traditions for body and home. As the leading bath and body brand in Europe, they encourage ‘slow down’ moments for the mind, body, & soul. Rituals aims to turn everyday routines into cherishable moments, helping their customers to “find happiness in the smallest of things” with the use of their products. Inspired by ancient Eastern traditions, each product uses specific fragrance combinations to help stimulate the senses and encourages you to immerse yourself in some “me time”.



i'm a complete sucker for packaging and the keepsake box that the set comes in is really sturdy and beautiful. The inside packaging tray is even compostable. The outside of the box is decorated with a ribbon and metal charm than can be reused, and the paper sleeve can be recycled. 


This is a really nice set, and would make a wonderful gift. i love the light scent of rose blossoms and rice milk. The scent is perfectly balanced . The lotion is very moisturizing, with a light scent and doesn't leave a greasy residue. The hand soap is a nice addition. Overall it was a gorgeous, luxurious and indulgent box that left me feeling very pampered. Anyone would feel very special receiving this as a gift. 


The Ritual of Sakura Medium Gift Set contains a shower foam, body scrub, body cream and hand soap. Celebrate each day as a new beginning with these care products based on the fabulous aromas of Cherry Blossom and Rice Milk.  The entire set is lovely and aesthetically pleasing. 


The body scrub is so moisturizing and nice, i just wish there was more of it. i always use it up first! i really like the foaming shower gel. It lathers wonderfully and is silky smooth, like shaving cream but better. The scent is light, but lingers and is not overpowering at all. i really enjoyed these! They have many different collections available and i'm excited to explore some of the other scent combinations. 

Rituals is never tested on animals. You can purchase this gift set here- https://amzn.to/2Nj2tFx 
 You can learn more about the Sakura collections here- https://www.rituals.com/en-us/home 
Connect with Rituals on social media Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/RitualsUSA/ 
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/ritualsusa/ 

*i received these Rituals products for free from Tryazon in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Updating our Dining Room Lighting with Parrot Uncle Rustic Wood Chandelier.- Sponsored

Finally getting around to doing a few upgrades to the house. We built it 6 years ago, and still haven't painted the walls or really changed a thing (except the basement which still isn't finished).  i came across this pendant lamp and thought it would look amazing in our house.



This Lodge inspired Castello 4-Light Rustic Wood Chandelier is by Parrot Uncle.com, a subsidiary company of Eileen Grays Network Technology Co., Ltd., it is a specialty retailer striving to satisfy your home lighting requirements.


We have the perfect spot for it, and i happy to replace this boring light that i've never really cared for. 




i absolutely love the look of this metal and wood Pendant style #chandelier!  The weathered wood finish has a slight olive color that matches perfectly with my dining room rug and the slate on the wall and the black finished wrought iron framing matches the black cast iron on my wood stove.


So, the one thing i didn't really consider was the installation. Replacing a lamp that is almost 18' up is not an easy task when your ladder is only 8 ' tall. ha ha!   We had to balance the ladder on the kitchen table and the husband had to climb all the way to the top which was all a little sketchy just to reach it. 


Once we got that figured out, the actual installation was very straight forward and easy. 


i really love it! It has a farmhouse feel, but also great for industrial or modern rustic decor. Such a unique design that can lend itself to many surroundings. The candles remind me of the floatin candles in Harry Potter, and my son thinks it has a very gothic feel. It is quite large, with a width of 20 inches, height 22 1/2 Inches the adjustable chain cord length 39”.  


i love the way it fits with our dining room. It gives off a beautiful light to the room. It really creates a mood, much more than the other light that was here. 


i'm planning to get the LED candelabra bulbs with the bent tips to really give off a candle vibe, but you get the idea.   This is really well made, sturdy piece! #ParrotUncle is dedicated to offering you the best quality and the largest selection of home lighting fixtures. From modern designer ceiling lighting to cottage chic wood handmade lamps, you can enjoy the warmest light and the most decorative style for your house

You can find more information about it here on Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BK4QYWX 


*i received this products for free in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own. This post contains referral links. i may earn a small commission when you click a link and make a purchase.