Feeling especially artsy fartsy tonight after weeks of semi doldrums. A thing here, a thing there, chasing flickers in the dark. (I figured out they were lightning bugs. Yay summer!) Tonight though I pulled my head out of its box and set it out in the sunshine for the last few rays before the sun goes under the mountain. A summer’s mask of ripe colors filtered though a distorted head. Magic time!
My husband Cass and I have a long history of enjoying live music together, especially the blues. Before we had kids and responsibilities we were regulars at the Beale Street Blues Fest in Memphis and of course the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. We’ve seen The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Buddy Guy at Red Rocks, Dr. John, Ray Charles (god rest his soul) and attended all sorts of little blues festivals up and down the Eastern seaboard, yeah, you could say we got around.
Asheville’s got plenty of blue skies, blue ridges, and even bluegrass but not a lot of blues. Happily, through a few strange twists of fate, Cass recently found himself with a chance to create a blues night at the Asheville Music Hall every Wednesday in May, so he’s running with it!! Come out to the Asheville Music Hall for the 12 Bar All-Stars, featuring Aaron “Woody” Wood, J.C. Lang, Marcel Anton, Chris Kew and Zach Alberto!! These guys had a lot of fun last week (check out their face book page for pics) and are fixing for more tonight! $5 cover after 9 so get there early!
All of Asheville was abuzz with Moogfest this weekend and I hope you all had fun! I did an about face and took some friends (one who hasn’t been here long and one visiting her from England) out for a day trip up the old Marshall Highway for a day of small town exploring in Marshall and then on up to Hot Springs for an explore and a soak. We did have some fun!
Marshall almost looks like it was cut out of a small town story book, located right on the French Broad River and along the train tracks it’s Main Street is a quick but charming tour with several charming shops, a sweet little restaurant, the Pork & Pie, Zuma coffee shop, Flow Gallery and a real, honest to goodness old time department store, Penland & Sons. In a town the size of Marshall you really only need one of everything. They’ll be having the Mama Mia Celebration honoring Mother’s Day Saturday, May 10 with family activities, music and food all over downtown.
Hot Springs, just another 15 minutes up the road, was also a hit, and we spent another good chunk of the afternoon wandering from shop to shop all along their Main Street before stopping for lunch. Then it was off to the tubs for a nice hour long soak at the “World Famous Hot Springs“. A word to the wise as we come into season, make a reservation ahead of time if you plan on renting an outdoor tub on the weekend as they were completely booked for the day by 1 pm and even if you go during the week it never hurts to call ahead and reserve a time. More fun upcoming next weekend in Hot Springs as well with the French Broad River Festival for two fantastic days of music and camping.
I was approached a few weeks ago by my friend Shannon Covart who owns the Circle on Haywood Road in West Asheville. She asked if I would come in and photograph some the amazingly beautiful, locally blown, custom glass that they sell in preparation for their big 4-20 sale which starts today! Of course I said yes! I love working with Shannon and everyone at the Circle Crewe! She also asked me to make a few special radiants for her to use for the sale and design some flyers. Yes again! So here is one of the custom radiants I created for the Circle’s 4-20 sale event this weekend. Go check it out!!
Awww! Baby Portraits!!
Nothing makes me happier than a chance to work with a new baby and their family. I was so pleased to meet the lovely Baby Jovie yesterday, 16 days old and what a sweetie! We had a lovely relaxed and comfortable session at home with no lights and backgrounds, no stress, just her, and her adoring parents and I, chatting about babies and basking in that beautiful hushed glow newborns seem to generate. Perfect. Welcome to the world Baby, I’m glad you were born!
I took the kids to the brand new Discovery Academy to check out the NC Science Fest this afternoon. We should have gone earlier, the Geo Dome was sold out by the time we got there around 12:30. There was still plenty of fun science to try out though. We explored stations that focused on magnetism, microscopes and scientific measurement. It was extra neat to check out the new STEM high school that MJ has applied for. She was already walking the halls like she owned the place. Fingers still crossed for the application/ lottery process, wish her luck.
Instrument Drive for Eblen & Erwin School Bands
We have a mixed blessing happening in our schools’ music departments, an explosion of interest in the band program coupled with an ever shrinking fine arts budget, can you help?
Band to hold instrument drive to support studentsDue to a rapidly growing band program, director Jason Miller foresees a large instrument shortage in the coming school year at Eblen Intermediate and Erwin Middle schools.“The band program is seeing record-breaking growth,” Miller said. The middle school band currently has 60 students in the 7th and 8th grades, while Eblen has 112 6th graders participating in the music program. “I already have more than 150 5th graders signed up to play next year. We just don’t have enough instruments to support that many students.”While most students purchase their own instruments, many of the larger ones such as baritones, French horns and tubas are often provided by the school for students to borrow. However, the Eblen/Erwin bands do not have enough for all the upcoming students.The band is holding an instrument drive and asking the community to check in their closets, basements and attics for any band instruments gathering dust. All donations are appreciated and accepted no matter what condition they are in. “We can always have instruments repaired and if they are too far gone, we can sell them for scrap and use the money toward another instrument,” Miller said. “Plus, there are many students who want to play the trumpet, flute, clarinet, saxophone and other smaller instruments whose families just can’t afford them. Music education should be accessible to all students.”If you are interested in donating an instrument, please label the instrument “donation” and drop them off in the front office at either school:Eblen Intermediate School59 Lee’s Creek RdAsheville, NC 28806ORErwin Middle School20 Erwin Hills RdAsheville, NC 28806
City Market Opens for 2014 Season
I love to go to the farmer’s & tailgate markets here in Asheville! Last Saturday was opening weekend for Asheville City Market‘s regular season. This Saturday promises to be a gorgeous day to be outside so treat yourself to something good. It’s a great way to see what’s in season, meet some nice people, learn something new and come home with real fresh food. You just never know what you’re going to find, maybe small herb starts and bacon or fresh eggs and bread, or ramps and mushrooms. You’re almost always sure to find kind folks who worked hard to produce what’s there and got up real early in the morning to bring it to you. And the City Market schedules local music performances and kids activities so there’s plenty of reasons to bring the family. Go to the market, find something amazing, take it home and eat it!
Oh yeah!!! The city of Emma, in the Township of Hazalton*, Asheville, N.C. has it’s own, gorgeous,brand spankin’ new urban farm supply and garden store, on N. Louisiana Ave. L.O.T.U.S. Living Only Through Urban Sustainability. (Heads up poultry keepers, they swear they have the lowest feed prices in the area.) The store front is ’round the back about a block before the railroad tracks on N. Louisiana. It has an excellent selection of organic soils, seeds, fertilizer, starter plants, and compost tea. They are working on opening their aquaponics section soon. Owned by a couple of knowledgable local guys, Brook & Clint, who understand the quirks of the gardening seasons in WNC they are ready to answer any question. So happy to have them just down the hill and not have to drive to Lowe’s or downtown for everything!!
*That’s what it says on my house’s legal description.
Noticed the pear and cherry blossoms behind Orbit DVD are busting out there blooms!
Sweet goodness and mercy, somebody thank his Mama for this delicious, upright bass playin’, man with the devastatingly handsome Big Nasty Jazz Band.
All my little endeavors of the last month are sprouting up nicely this week! Pop sure is glad I got started on the lettuce and spinach early in February! He’s had his pick of perfect salad greens for the past week now, with back ups and cabbages right behind out in the cold frame. Meanwhile, in the green house, the biggest pepper is starting to bud, the volunteer sunflowers the birds dropped and I weeded from the cold frame last fall, have bloomed and I’m just beginning to see the tiniest sprouts coming from the lilac and crepe myrtle seeds I started last month. The new strawberry plants are looking so good!! We’ve got big plans for all the old beds around the front of the house too! We’re digging out old posts, bricks, and bush stumps, killing the weeds and can’t wait to get back to the mulch yard next week for another load so we can bury it all and start fresh.
And Pop looked up at me over coffee the other morning and said, ‘You know we’re so far out ahead this year it’s not even funny. We should start talking about an arbor for that front gate. . .”
Oh be still my heart, yes let’s!