Shop Local: Galatea Boutique

August 30, 2009 at 3:14 am (Shop Local)

scarvesLast September I had a solo exhibition at Artspace’s Upfront Gallery. I was unveiling a new line of work and wanted to wear something special for the First Friday opening. A friend of mine suggested I try Galatea in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station. Since then, whenever I am looking for something special, Galatea is my go-to place to shop.

“When you first enter Galatea, you might feel like Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ House with so many colors, textures, and styles… We think you’ll find that we’re not too young and not too old, not too big and not too small, not too funky and not too conservative.”  []

bootGalatea carries Johnny Was Collection, JWLA Embroidered Knits, Cutloose, CMC, Uncle Frank Dresses, ISDA , XCVI, and Pete and Greta,  just to name a few. For my fabulous First Friday look, I wore a XCVI Wearables double shirred panel skirt.

“We have lots and lots of jewelry and accessories for extremely reasonable prices and Naot Shoes that are so comfortable and cute too,” says Galatea Owner Cheryl Fraser. And for fall, Fraser has you covered. “Scarves are huge this fall, bold jewelry and shades of purple!” For me, what sets Galatea apart is its attention to detail. ISDA Wearables

“Our separates and dresses in delicious fabrics, textures and hues (many featuring unique detailing and embellishment) combine style, versatility and comfort to create a wardrobe with endless options for casual, professional and special occasion wear.”

Next month, Galatea celebrates its thirteenth anniversary and to celebrate they have special events planned all month long, including a Hobo Handbag Trunk Show, Naot Shoe Trunk Shoe, and Down By The Tracks VIII, a big fundraiser Seabard Station merchants put on to benefit the SPCA of Wake County. For dates and times or directions to the store, visit


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Fall 2009 Color Forecast

August 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm (Fashion Focus)


Earlier this year, Pantone, the world’s authority on color, came out with its color forecast for Fall 2009. “The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to current economic conditions, but also understand the need to incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy.”

The Top 10 Fall ’09 colors for women are: American Beauty, Purple Heart, Honey Yellow, Iron, Burnt Sienna, Nomad, Rapture Rose, Warm Olive, Majolica Blue, and Creme Brulee.

Designers Maria Pinto and Lela Rose like the blues mixed with neutrals like graphite and ebony. The Love Letter necklace with its light gray beads and silver clasp compliment either one of these two fall colors.

“Strong yet understated Iron serves as the “new black,” making traditional basics much more interesting. Neither gray nor brown, Iron is a grounding color that coordinates well with all colors in the palette. Crème Brûlée, a grayed-down beige, and Nomad, which bridges the gap between beige and light gray, also speak to the need for timeless neutrals.Pair Nomad, Creme Brulee, and Iron with white beads and clear crystals.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009] Pair Nomad, Iron, or Creme Brulee with white beads and clear crystals.

“Like the olive in a martini, Warm Olive, a rich yellow-green, adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to fall. When combined, this tangy, intriguing hue makes all other colors come alive.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009] Try Warm Olive, Honey Yellow, and Burnt Sienna with ecru beads and amber, smoky quartz, and topaz colored crystals.

I don’t typically design around the Pantone Color Palette, although I have met many jewelers who do. However, I am cognisant of the fact that either consciously or subconsciously my customers take the current color forecast into account when making buying decisions.

“Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week to identify the 10 most directional colors. Like a painter’s palette, fall 2009 offers choice and diversity, but the unique integration of colors is what makes it so appealing.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009]

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The Road Less Traveled: "A" is for Artspace

August 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm (The Road Less Traveled)

In April, I posted my first Road Less Traveled installment about my visit to The Rocky Mount Art Center. The day trip to Rocky Mount, while worth the drive, took me 59 miles outside of Raleigh. So, as the summer of staycation vacations winds down, I thought I would tell you about one of my favorite places closer to home.

When I first moved to Raleigh eight years ago, one of the first places I visited was Artspace in Downtown Raleigh’s City Market Moore Square Art District. As I wandered down the artful halls, I never imagined that someday I would have my studio there.

Located in a historic building, Artspace was once the location of the city’s livery and later the Sanders Ford Car Dealership. Signs of Sanders Ford still swell from the brick walls. A metal arrow directing Please Park Left For Service hangs in the lobby and more conspicuously, the Sanders Ford logo peers out from under the blue Artspace sign in front.

Today, this 30,000 square foot building is home to 35 artists, including myself, working in a variety of media, along with three exhibition spaces, education space, a gift shop, and administrative offices.

According to its website, “Since its inception Artspace has inspired more than 2 million visitors and served as the heart of Raleigh’s visual art community. Artspace offers more than 100,000 visitors annually over 30 challenging and award-winning exhibitions, interactive workshops to over 2,000 school-aged children each year, art programming for at-risk youth, classes and workshops to over 3,000 youth and adults annually, and over 200 public events open to all in the community free of charge.”
Growing up in a major metropolitan city, I can tell you that the only open art studio environment we had was located in such a bad area of town, nobody ever went to it. Artspace is centrally located just steps away from Marbles Kids Museum and Fayetteville Street, and a Raleigh Rickshaw ride away from the State Capitol, The North Carolina Museum of History, and The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
This weekend, Artspace plays host to Family Fun Day. Carnival fun and games will include artist demonstrations, face painting, and make and take activities. For grownups, this Saturday, August 22nd, also marks the last Downtown Live Free Concert in Moore Square Park featuring the 90’s group Better than Ezra. This weekend I will be exhibiting a short drive away at the 33rd annual Lazy Daze Arts and Craft Festival in Downtown Cary.
So, whether you live or work in the Triangle or are just visiting this weekend or any weekend, plan your next staycation/vacation trip to Artspace. Artspace is open to the public 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and stays open until 10:oo p.m. the first Friday of every month. Admission is free.


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Vue de Paris

August 15, 2009 at 2:55 am (Artist Musings)

“The sweetness and generosity and politeness and gentleness and humanity of the French had shown me how lovely life can be if one takes time to be friendly… Oh, how I adored sweet and natural France, with its human warmth, wonderful smells, graciousness, coziness and freedom of spirit.” [Julia Child, My Life in France]

Francophiles unite! The success of the movie Julie & Julia has sparked a newfound interest in everything French. Why not? It’s easy to romanticize France? Everything sounds better in France. It is a romance language after all. “Even their songs are swoon-worthy.” [From Joanna Goddard’s Marie Claire Blog] And of course, there is the food.

“This is the kind of food that I have fallen in love with: not trendy souped-up fantasies, just something very good to eat. It was classic French cooking, where the ingredients have been carefully selected and beautifully and knowingly prepared. Or, in the words of the famous gastronome Curnonsky, ‘Food that tastes of what it is.’ ” [Julia Child]

I saw the movie and loved it, but since I don’t cook (at least not well), I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to Julia’s “sweet and natural France” by taking a look at my Vue de Paris collection.

I did my first craft show in 2004 in Durham, North Carolina. I affectionately refer to this first show experience as “a river runs through it” because it was cold and rainy, and there I was on the street with a river of water literally running through my booth. But on that cold and rainy day, I sold my first bracelet, The Vue de Paris tile bracelet. The success of that first sale sent me back to the studio to create a Vue de Paris collection. Much of the Vue de Paris collection is inspired by the 1890’s Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau movements, an attempt to eradicate the dividing line between art and audience. Everything could and should be art. Burne-Jones designed wallpaper, Hector Guimard designed metro stations, and Alphonse Mucha designed advertisements and stage sets. The 1890’s were also the golden age of the lithographic poster. Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, and Toulouse-Lautrec all produced highly original masterpieces which elevated the poster into an art form.
The centerpiece of the Vue de Paris collection is my Much Ado About Mucha necklace. Although Alphonse Mucha wasn’t born in France (he was born in what is known today as the Czech Republic), he moved to Paris in 1887 and seven years later designed his first poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s Gismonda. For this necklace, Art Nouveau poster images are transferred to clay and hand-formed into the beads. But what I am most proud of about this necklace is the clasp. On a visit to Miami a few years ago , a gallery owner told me that he wouldn’t buy jewelry from any artist who didn’t make their own clasps. Upon returning to my studio in Raleigh, I set forth on a quest to create a clasp design that would not only cinch the necklace but be the focal point of the piece. The end result was this clasp, in which two Alphonse Mucha poster images for Sarah Bernhardt are impressed into fine silver. This necklace appeared in the 2006 in Ornament Magazine. Pieces from my Vue de Paris collection can be found in my studio at Artspace, at galleries, and online. The collection consists of bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. And of course, I am always thinking about new French inspired designs to cook up and add to it.

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A Room with a View

August 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm (From Studio 109A)

“I have inherited 10,000 empty wine bottles, one grape, every issue of La Nazione printed in 1958, and assorted previous tenants. The trick to overcoming buyer’s remorse is to have a plan. Pick one room and make it yours. Go slowly through the house. Be polite, introduce yourself so it can introduce itself to you.” From the movie/book, Under The Tuscan Sun, 2004

As you know from my last post, I moved from Studio 217 upstairs at Artspace to Studio 109A, downstairs at Artspace. Much like Frances in Under the Tuscan Sun, I did experience buyer’s remorse. Look at the before picture. Wouldn’t you? In my case, I inherited a bolted down safe (which now belongs to Raleigh Ensemble Players, the previous tenant), two phone books (not sure what year), a damaged concrete floor, and a seventeen foot shelf. But the key to overcoming buyer’s remorse is to “make it yours”. So, for the last month, I have been painting the space, slowly introducing myself to it, and transforming it from office to studio.

The downstairs artists have welcomed me with open arms. I am surrounded by Marriott Little (painter), Susan Soper (printmaker), Susan Parrish (clay), Ann Harwell (fiber), Casey Porn (painting/drawing), Catherine Thornton (clay), Pat Scull (clay), Paris Alexander (sculpture), and the new Artspace Regional Emerging Artist in Residence David Eichenberger (painting/drawing).

So, last night was my first First Friday in my new space. Although my studio has been open for a couple of weeks now, last night was the first chance most people had to take a peek at Studio 109A. I had the chance to see some old friends and the opportunity to make some new ones. No more buyer’s remorse. Like Frances found at the end of Under the Tuscan Sun, I have everything I hoped for in my new space. I am surrounded by the creative energy of the artists around me. I have space to design, create, and work more efficiently. A friend of mine said it best — “it’s part studio, part gallery, but most of all it’s all you.”

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