Wednesday, November 25, 2020

NOVICA Review and Giveaway!

i'm so excited to be working with again! Novica is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.

Novica provides fair trade products made by artisans around the globe. They want you to know who you're buying from, to feel an attachment to the product, and to the hands that created it.  One of my favorite features on the Novica site is that there is an artist story at the bottom of every product. So, you can see the artists who are actually making the items. When you purchase an item from Novica, an artisan card is included with each item.
i always really enjoy browsing the Unique Gifts section. Novica has put together a versatile collection of hand-crafted treasures from artists around the world.  The Eco friendly selection includes items that are sustainable and natural as well as items made from recycled or reclaimed materials.  At Novica you'll fiind unique handmade products, great value, and the joy of helping to nurture and elevate the craft of global artisans.

i really love what Novica has created. It is a wonderful online marketplace that bridges the gap and brings all of these unique artisan treasures together in one place for an easy shopping experience.

 You can feel good about your purchases, and feel connected with the artists whom your purchase is helping.

My NOVICA order arrived in a timely manner and was packaged really nicely! i got a hand embroidered sling bag from Thailand, which was wrapped in the brown paper with red ribbon, and a sarong from Bali that came in a pretty cloth gift bag. 

Each item comes with a postcard with a personal hand written thank you from the artist/s that you purchased from. Also included is a little card with the description of the product and name of the artist. i love that Novica helps Artisans to build a sustainable business from their craft.

To make ends meet during COVID times, many artisans turned to handcrafting unique face masks. Innovative designs crafted in comfortable fabrics display the amazing fortitude and resilience of artisans as we support each other during these challenging times.  Novica has an amazing selection of handmade face masks you can check them all out here. 

Connect with Novica!

Giveaway time!!!

 The generous folks at NOVICA have provided a $50 GC to one luck winner!  Enter the giveaway below using the rafflecopter form. It may take a minute to load.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Novica provided me with a gift card to review their store, but these opinions are 100% mine. i really feel like this is a great store that showcases the talents of these wonderful artists and provides a place to purchase fair trade, high quality items.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Ritual of Karma- Product Review

This year has me in need of some serious pampering.  At the end of the day a hot soak really helps me to slow down and relax, which is very needed these days. Lucky for me, i was invited to try out #theritualsofkarma product line 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”.

The Ritual of Karma Set: According to ancient Hindu belief, living with good intent attracts good karma. Say good words, think good thoughts, do good deeds and keep the circle positive because ultimately, you reap what you sow. The Ritual of Karma collection helps you immerse yourself in the positive vibes of summer all year round.

The Rituals of Karma salt scrub leaves your skin feeling so smooth and soft. This nourishing, sugar-based scrub is made of exfoliating particles that nourish and revitalize your skin, all with the delicate, floral aroma of holy lotus and white tea. Scrubbing is a highly effective way of purifying your body and of stimulating the flow of energy. This process is enhanced when taking a warm bath.  Maintain that gorgeous glow with this body scrub from The Ritual of Karma. 

Radiate positive vibes for your soul and your skin with The Ritual of Karma foaming shower gel. Using unique gel-to-foam technology, the rich and luxurious foam is enriched with sweet holy lotus and nourishing White Tea.  The foaming gel is silky smooth, thick and lathers really nicely. The scent is light, but lingers and is not overpowering at all.

The body cream is really rich, smooth and nourishing. It smells amazing and absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy feeling. Do good for your skin and good will come your way with this body cream from The Ritual of Karma.

RITUALS offers many different collections and i'm excited to explore some of the other scent combinations. So far i've tired the Ritual of Sakura, Ritual of Ayurveda and now the Ritual of Karma.  i really love them all and am not sure i could pick a favorite. RITUALS is never tested on animals. 

RITUALS- The Ritual of Karma is available Sept. 15th on Sephora.

Connect with Rituals on social media

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

#ritualsusa #shareyourslowdown #gotitfree #referral #nottestedonanmials #pamperyourself #bathtime #slowdown #tryazon

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.