Pretty Christmas Packages

Johnson City Christmas Parade “Trophies” created by artist Chasidy Hathorn (SassyHat).

Can you believe it is the last day of November? Which means there is only one month left in 2017, and only 20-something days left to do holiday shopping–give or take depending on when your family will be gathering. Whew! Santa’s elves are going to be working late from now until the sleigh departs. *deep breath* I am not ready for Christmas, much less 2018. Bless! I am still trying to figure out what has been happening this year.  Oh, my! I cannot think about this anymore *wink* Let’s grab a good cup of coffee and chat about something fun and adorable + easy to do *cue Pretty Paper by Roy Orbison*

Pretty Christmas Colors

For this year’s Johnson City Christmas Parade, I created “trophies” for the three most fabulous floats! Working off of the parade’s theme of A Storybook Christmas, the committee’s selection of traditional Christmas colors, and my love of big bows, I went into my studio and played around with everything from wood to canvas. The end result. Presents. Pretty painted packages with big, Southern bows.

I used 10 x 10, 8 x 8, and 6 x 6 block canvases for the presents.

The winner of “Best Float” trophy
For this one, I used a palette knife and acrylic paint in two shades of custom Christmas green and two shades of metallic gold. I eyed the stripes, but you can use painter’s tape to create the stripes for your packages.

Second Place
For this Christmas package, I used traditional red with pearl and metallic gold.

Third Place
I brought in the colors of the first two packages for this little darling, and topped it was a very big bow.

I used a staple gun to attach the bows to the canvases. The bow can easily be removed leaving an original painting to display on a shelf or wall.

For more info about the Johnson City Christmas parade date/time and the route, click here.

If you are looking for more things to do this weekend in Johnson City, check out the Splash: Art and Craft Showcase Market happening all weekend. Y’all will definitely find me there doing some Christmas shopping (and probably buying myself a little happy or two *wink*). For more about Splash, click here. *p.s. big congrats to Johnson City Public Art for their new blog! Welcome to the blogosphere *big smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today! Be sure to like SSL on Facebook and follow on Instagram and Twitter @ChasidyHathorn to keep up with the latest happenings, random things I retweet, and cute photos of the furbabies!

Nothing says Christmas in the South like big bows and a little sparkle *wink*

 

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Free Birthday Advice to My Daughter Who May or May Not Need My Motherly Wisdom

Abby and I just doing what we do best–being silly.

It is a very emotional day for me today because it is my baby’s birthday. Okay, she isn’t exactly a baby, but she will always be my baby. Where does the time go? Really, like where? It seems like yesterday she was learning to talk and walk, she was “exploring” the yard for treasures, and she was snuggling with her special blankie and wanting me to read her a bedtime story. Some days, I was so tired from work and all of the other extra activities that I would beg (almost bribe) her to just go to sleep without a story.

In those exhausting moments, we don’t think about our babies growing up and moving away. We don’t think about the day we won’t be together on their birthdays. We are just trying to get those kiddos in the bed, the laundry done, and the next day’s clothes ready.

Looking back with a few years of wisdom under my belt, I would have chosen reading her favorite bedtime book over folding and putting away the laundry. At the time, I was trying so hard to be this super woman–to prove to the world that I could work a full-time job, keep a perfectly clean house (ready at all times for a Southern Living magazine spread), be actively involved at work, community, and church…oh, bless! This list could go on for days. One thing I am thankful for is there was no social media at this time. I would have worked myself to death trying to be super and perfect because I would have had to post everything from what I made for dinner to the knobs on the furniture. (Seriously, my FB newsfeed is full of so many statuses of moms being super moms–from extreme birthday parties that are near Hollywood productions to family vacations that rival royalty. It is shear madness.)

If I could shout one message to the world right now, it would to put down the phones and enjoy time (real time) with your children and loved ones. Put down those phones (like put them away in your purse or on a shelf) and truly hold your kids in your lap. Not have them in your lap while sending GIFs to your bestie. Stop watching YouTube videos while at the dinner table. Talk to your kids. Ask them questions about their day, about their friends, about silly things….Laugh with them . Read a story to them (don’t ask Alexa to do it). Because one day, you will wake up, and your baby will be 22.

FREE ADVICE TO MY DAUGHTER WHO IS 22 AND MAY OR MAY NOT NEED MY MOTHERLY WISDOM.

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”  –Mark Twain

Standing up for what is right and what is moral and good is not easy. It will never be easy. You might be standing alone. You might be shunned or mocked (or trolled on social media) for doing what is right, but you must be the good in this world.

“Every brick they threw at me, I used them to stand on.”

There will always be someone throwing stones at you. Use them to build a strong foundation. Don’t let those brick-throwers get the best of you or get you down because if you do, those bricks will soon cover you. Don’t throw them back because when they go low–you go high (by building!!).

“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.”
― Roy T. BennettThe Light in the Heart

“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”

Never be afraid of something that is new or difficult. Accept the challenge. Show yourself that you can do hard things.

“If your dream is a big dream, and if you want your life to work on the high level that you say you do, there’s no way around doing the work it takes to get you there.” –Joyce Chapman

Keep doing the work to get you there.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Devil and Miss Prym

“To really change the world, we have to help people change the way they see things. Global betterment is a mental process, not one that requires huge sums of money or a high level of authority. Change has to be psychological. So if you want to see real change, stay persistent in educating humanity on how similar we all are than different. Don’t only strive to be the change you want to see in the world, but also help all those around you see the world through commonalities of the heart so that they would want to change with you. This is how humanity will evolve to become better. This is how you can change the world. The language of the heart is mankind’s main common language.”
― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” –Nora Roberts

Paw Riley and Abby

Happy birthday, my sweet, little Abigail. I love you more than words could ever express. I would give anything to read your favorite bedtime story to you tonight. *big hug*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as I wished my daughter a happy birthday. Remember time stands still for no one, there will always be dirty laundry, and those babies are little only once! Now, put that phone down and go snuggle on the couch with a good storybook *big smile*

Handmade Goodness at the Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough

What a wonderful time I had at the Made Around Here Market in beautiful Historic Jonesborough. The Market was filled with so many awesome, handcrafted items like this Tennessee-inspired, leather carry pouch  by Rob Sherman Designs (Mountain Song Jewelers).

I must admit I shopped until I dropped at the Made Around Here Market at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. It was two days filled with handcrafted goodness from local and regional artisans, and it was totally worth the hunt for a parking space. Okay. Maybe I intentionally parked away from the Visitors Center so I could stroll Main Street and get a Chai Tea Latte made with handcrafted mix from Elysium Farm. That is not the point *wink*

Outdoor Market at the Made Around Here Market in Jonesborough

If you missed this year’s Made Around Here Market, don’t fret because Jonesborough has had this handcrafted show for almost 40 years. If I were a betting person, I would absolutely put all of my coffee money on next year’s MAHM being even better.

Indoor Market No. 1 at Made Around Here Market in Tennessee’s Oldest Town. *Indoor Market No. 2 was so hopping I was unable to take photos!

Before I share the photos of some of my favorite things I found, let’s sit a spell with a Chai Tea Latte (because I bought the mix by Elysium Farm at The Corner Cup, so I could make my own at home) and chat about a few tips and tricks about shopping and surviving a two-day long holiday craft market in Jonesborough. Believe me. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. And you will need to train for next year’s!

Big Mug by Barbara Cara of Potting for Fun. You can find Barbara out and about at local events and find her pottery at ONE.40.FOUR in Jonesborough.

FIVE TIPS & TRICKS FOR HOLIDAY MARKET SHOPPING

  • Wear comfortable shoes because you will do a lot of walking and standing while chatting with all the amazingly talented and friendly vendors.
  • Bring a large enough tote to carry all your goodies in, but not so big you can’t make a trip or two to your car. These shopping breaks will give you opportunities to explore Main Street shops and grab a cup of coffee from The Corner Cup or an ice cream cone from JJ’s Eatery & Ice Cream.
  • Bring cash. Like a bucket of cash. Not all vendors take plastic, so make sure you have a nice assortment of bills.
  • If your significant other insists on coming along and if your significant other gets tired of the shopping pace, tell them to go to Tennessee Hills Distillery and Depot Street Brewing. That should keep them busy long enough for you to get all of your shopping done.
  • Stay well hydrated (with coffee or water). You can’t shop ’til you drop in Historic Jonesborough without proper hydration.

Now, without further ado, let’s check out a few of my favorite things from the Made Around Here Market  *cue My Favorite Things by Julie Andrews*

  • All things snowmen. *If you are a fangirl of snowmen like I am, this holiday market is for you.

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*For more snowmen finds at the Made Around Here Market, check out the sneak peek post here.

  • All things wood. From signs to cutting boards, Made Around Here Market had its shoppers covered.

Wood Signs by Simply Blessed Gifts

Brenden Bohannon of Electrified Wood Artisan creates one-of-a-kind wooden art pieces. To see how he creates these electrified pieces, click here.

These pretty window hangings are made from cedar and smell like Grandma’s closet. A trio of these in your kitchen window will have you thinking of your fav grandmother while you attempt to make her famous pecan pie.

Of all of the walking/hiking sticks at arts and crafts fairs, these are the finest quality I have seen. The quality is so superb I got my dad one. He is a wood artisan and a perfectionist when it comes to what he makes. Shhhh. Don’t tell him. It will ruin the surprise *wink*

  • All things vintage and vintage-inspired. Holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without displaying things that remind of days gone by and our grandmothers.

Pamela R. Haines of Rabbit Run Farm is one of my favorite artisans. Okay. I have a lot of favorite artisans, but she stands out because of her use of vintage items and her adorable primitive dolls and animals.

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Peanut Butter Fudge by Rose Bowling of Unique Designs by Rose. Yes, fudge is vintage-inspired. Don’t believe me. Ask your grandmother. *wink* Plus, I had to include Rose’s famous fudge because everywhere I turned market-goers were chatting about Rose’s fudge and how delicious it was. She was most adorable and reminded me of my grandmothers–who are celebrating the holidays in heaven.

Spotted these crocheted cuties at the Tri-Cities Crafters booth. One of the crafters 91 year-old mom makes these. How inspiring is that!!

The 91 year-old mom also makes these baby blankets. This is the absolute perfect baby gift. Can you imagine the love and history in those hands that crocheted these blankets. *tearing up*

  • All things pottery. I could chat about my love of pottery all day long, but to keep this point brief-two of my favorite Northeast Tennessee potters were at the Made Around Here Market.

Kara Cline of Humilitea House creates stunning functional art pieces. For lovely and inspirational photos, check out her Instagram here.

A peek inside the darling booth of Humilitea House by Kara Cline. It was a bit chilly outside, but Kara was all smiles.

Piggy Bank by Barbara Cara of Potting for Fun. *p.s. we all need one of these to put our shopping money in for next year’s Made Around Here Market.

  • All things leather and jewelry. Is there anything better than the smell of leather and the sparkle of handmade jewelry?

Handcrafted leather purse by Rob Sherman Designs (Mountain Song Jewelers)
Dear Santa, I need this bag in my life. I apologize for not being a good girl this year. Hugs xx

Sterling cuff bracelet by Mountain Song Jewelers. Visit them here.

Dear Santa, I also need this. Once again, I apologize for not being on my best behavior. More hugs xx
*bracelet by Rob Sherman Designs. Their items are created and produced in their shop, from melting the metals for jewelry and findings to cutting and sewing the leather for their leather goods. All of their handmade goodness is gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

Laura Feit of DragonGemz Creative Beading was an absolute delight. She creates one-of-a-kind jewelry in her mom’s memory. To learn more about Laura and her connection to the holiday market, check out the Jonesborough’s Herald & Tribune’s article here.

It was really hard narrowing down my finds and photos from the almost 40 arts and crafts vendors because there was so much handmade goodness that caught my attention at the Made Around Here Market. I shopped ’til I dropped and ran out of cash. Note to self: bring more cash next year.

So, what did I buy at the Made Around Here Market? Well, I can’t show you everything because some of the items are gifts–unless I decide to keep everything for myself which is totally possible.

A little peek at what I bought at the Made Around Here Market: a hat made from alpaca wool by Janet’s Alpaca Acres, coasters from Humilitea House, and a bowl for the hubby’s cereal by Barbara Cara

The McKinney Center was at the Made Around Here Market making cute Christmas cards with all of the kids and kids at heart.

Oh, I almost forgot to give a shout out to one of my favorite places in Jonesborough. Not only have I taken some awesome art classes from them, but I have also taught a few classes there as well. Currently, they are taking students (children and adults) for their next semester. The McKinney Center offers everything from pottery classes to hip-hop. I could go on and on about them, but just click here to discover what they have to offer.

Hello, Skye! Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the McKinney Center.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about a few tips and tricks for shopping at a holiday market and about a few of my favorite things at the Made Around Here Market.

Stay tuned for my upcoming series–which is all about coffee. Y’all know I had to venture there sooner or later *wink*

Handmade goodness is the best!

 

 

 

 

 

Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough Sneak Peek

Made Around Here Market is happening this weekend (November 10-11) at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. You do not want to miss out on all of the fabulous handmade goodness.

I was so excited to get a sneak peek of this year’s Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough. Oh, my! Santa’s elves were busy setting up their booth spaces, and I was busy making a list of what I wanted to buy.

A couple of Santa’s elves busy setting up their handmade goodness.

My visit started with a chat about how long Jonesborough has had this holiday craft show and what makes it stand out. What I discovered was this event has been happening for almost 40 years and has made just a few changes over those years. One of the big changes was moving it away from Black Friday weekend, so it would not have to compete with the big box stores and all the crazy holiday sales and rush. Not being a part of that mad-dash weekend allows the Made Around Here Market to spotlight the importance of shopping local and buying handmade from regional artisans. What makes this holiday craft show stand out is its focus on every item being handmade and of great quality. It also offers a variety of goods that appeal to all ages–from little girls shopping for clothes for their dolls to grandmothers shopping for baby gifts for their new grands.

I would like one of each! These cuties are available at the Tri-Cities Crafters booth (Nancy Honeycutt and Libby Hatcher).

Whew! I am having a really hard time concentrating on writing this post for y’all because I am so excited about the almost 40 vendors and all of the wonderful wares they have. From handmade pottery and carefully crafted jewelry to seasonal décor and baskets galore, the Made Around Here Market has got our holiday shopping list covered. *deep breath* I am going to need lots of coffee from The Corner Cup in order to keep my shopping energy up.

These adorable snowmen will go fast, so come early to the Made Around Here Market. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 10th.

While I was sneaking peeks of all of the adorable snowmen, festive burlap wreaths, stunning jewelry, and gorgeous wood bowls, I chatted with a few vendors about why they participate in the Made Around Here Market and what they love about Jonesborough. Me–I totally love this precious town and firmly believe it needs to be the star in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Please, someone make that happen! **I have already written letters to Santa, but I am afraid I might not be on the good list. I can’t get into the details of why on this post, but trust me–I need all of you writing letters to Santa and emailing Hallmark!** I digress.

Festive burlap wreath by Debbie Alvis of Simply Blessed Gifts

Debbie Alvis of Simply Blessed Gifts has been a vendor at the Made Around Here Market for four years. She participates in this event because Jonesborough has a great reputation for supporting small businesses and crafters and because of how well orchestrated all of the events are. Debbie loves the atmosphere of Jonesborough and its history. She offers handmade burlap wreaths, ornaments, and jewelry. Her fan favorites include anything with a red truck, tassel necklaces, and burlap wreaths.

Handmade ornament by Simply Blessed Gifts. For more info about Simply Blessed Gifts, click here.

One word. Snuggly.
**I will be buying one of these handmade hats.**

My next chat (and I had these chats without sitting a spell with a good cup of coffee) was with a couple of ladies from Tri-Cities Crafters–which is a group of friends who craft together. They have knitted items for babies and adults, felted hats made from alpaca wool, homemade fudge (which I hear is divine), and so much more. This will be their fifth year to attend the Made Around Here Market, and they come because they love Jonesborough and want to be a part of this long-standing tradition. What makes Jonesborough stand out to them is it is a comforting place, a place to stroll, a place that represents home and family, and a place of history–a history so strong that is gives hope.

Tiny wooden jugs + a little baby vase by Brenden Bohannon of Electrified Wood Artisan.

My last chat of the sneak peek was with Brenden Bohannon, a self-taught wood artisan. This is his first year to be a vendor at the Made Around Here Market, and he is happy to be a part of this event because he has heard how well attended it is and how nice the quality is of the handmade items that are part of the show. I could have talked wood and art with Brenden all day. His passion for what he makes is contagious and shows in his work. His favorite thing about Jonesborough is how quiet it is and how he can enjoy strolling and shopping/dining with his family.

Bowls made from reclaimed and salvaged wood by Brenden Bohannon.

Now, before I head off to finish my shopping list for the Made Around Here Market, I want to let all of you know that admission is free, but donations will be accepted for Jonesborough’s free children’s event in December. You can also shop vendors outside and inside + parking can be found at the library, Courthouse, and other various locations throughout town. Personally, I like to park in the Courthouse parking lot so I can lazily stroll to the Visitors Center. It also gives me a chance to stop and get coffee *wink*

For more information about the Made Around Here Market visit Historic Jonesborough on Facebook or call (423) 753-1010.

Here are a few more sneak peek photos of the elves setting up and some handmade goodness that caught my eye!

Freshwater pearl and sterling bracelet by Tami Moore

Primitive dolls and animal

Handmade baskets by Diane Thompson, who will be demonstrating her craft during the Made Around Here Market

Just some of Santa’s elves setting up for the Made Around Here Market. *High Fives to all of the vendors for your hard work and awesomeness*

A couple of reindeer photobombing + wood-carved roses. Honestly, I had to touch them to know they were wood! I am still not convinced *wink*

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center.

It lights up! How fabulous is that!!!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee and took a look at a few sneaky peek photos.

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Easy Gluten-free Trifle Dessert

This gluten-free dessert will be the star of your next dinner party!

Are you looking for an easy, gluten-free dessert for all of the upcoming holiday parties and dinners? Are you looking for one that can be upsized into a trifle bowl (or any large clear bowl you have hidden away in your cabinets) or downsized into cute, fancy clear glasses? Are you looking to impress those co-workers, friends, and relatives who are skeptical of gluten-free dishes–especially desserts? Then, I have the recipe for you!

So, grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell with me as we chat about an easy-peasy, gluten-free trifle. For this particular one, I used a strawberry fruit/pie filling and fresh strawberries and blueberries. Cherry and peach are also great options. If you are feeling summery–lemon is fabulous.

Here are the basic ingredients for making a strawberry trifle. You can easily substitute cherry, peach, or lemon pie filling for the strawberry. **The two eggs and stick of butter are for the Betty Crocker GF yellow cake mix.

IngredientS

  • 1 can of gluten-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 packages of gluten-free cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 box of gluten-free yellow cake mix (follow ingredient list for the cake mix–varies depending on brand)
  • 2 containers of gluten-free, cool-whipped topping
  • 1 can of gluten-free pie/fruit filling (strawberry, cherry, peach, or lemon)

My daughter working on the trifle dessert + the hubby working on making a “gluten” recipe a gluten-free one.

As a quick note, my daughter and I have Celiac Disease (diagnosed in 2013) + I am not a food photographer/blogger. The little family and I are constantly looking for and trying new gluten-free goodies. The hubby is always adapting our favorite dishes to gluten-free ones. To be honest, he does most of the cooking because I am more of a microwave chef *wink*

Before we get started on the directions for the GF trifle dessert, let’s take a closer look at the gluten-free goodies used in it.

Borden Sweetened Condensed Milk is gluten free! *happy dance* This is a staple of Southern desserts *wink* If you know of other gluten-free sweetened condensed milk brands, be sure to share them in the comment section of this post.

Two thumbs up, Land O’ Lakes, for not only being gluten-free, but for also putting it right on the box for all to see. TIP: Don’t just glance at the label–always, always read the ingredients list.

Lucky Leaf has been a staple not only in the desserts I make, but the ones my mom and grandmothers made. It makes my heart happy that this brand has gluten-free fruit/pie fillings, so the traditional desserts can continue! Do you know of other gluten-free fruit/pie fillings? Let us know in the comment section of this post or snap a photo and mention @ChasidyHathorn on Twitter/IG.

So Delicious Dairy Free cool-whipped topping is so delicious! It is certified GF + it is dairy-free + did I mention it is yummy! TIP: Not all companies make solely gluten-free products, so be sure to check the label and the ingredient list + check out their websites for info on their allergen control programs.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is a Kraft product and does not state directly on the label that it is gluten-free; however, Kraft has a gluten-free labeling guide on their website which explains how they label their products. “There is growing interest in glutenfree and an expansion of product offerings in stores and in restaurants. Kraft Foods recognizes that consumers are looking for gluten-free products for medical reasons or personal preference and we are doing our part to accurately label our products to help interested individuals make informed choices.” (from Kraft’s website) 

I have used Philadelphia Cream Cheese many, many times, and I have not been glutened. Please remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you, so read labels and don’t be afraid to email the company with questions.

Easy, peasy and gluten-free!

Now, let’s take a look at how to make this yummy, crowd-pleasing trifle that is so delicious no one will know it is gluten-free!

Mix the yellow cake mix according to the instructions on the box and pour into a 9×12 baking dish.

Bake according to the instructions. Remove from oven and give it time to cool.

While your cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese mixture using two packages of softened cream cheese and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk to the cream cheese–using a mixer of your choice. I have been known to mix by hand–doable, but not recommended!

This will happen, and it is totally okay. Use a spatula to rake off into the bowl. Continue mixing into fully blended together.

Once the cake has cooled, cut into 1″ squares (give or take a little).

Gather all of your ingredients together to make the trifle–cool-whipped topping, pie/fruit filling, cream cheese mixture, and one-inch cake squares. **We are a real family who uses paper plates + we make real messes in the kitchen! So, don’t be afraid to get a little messy and have a few laughs while you cook *wink*

Bottom layer is cake. Don’t worry about filling in the entire bottom. Loosely fill.

Using a spoon or spatula, add the cream cheese mixture.

Using a spoon, add the pie/fruit filling. Smooth it over the cream cheese mixture.

Cool-whipped topping goes on top of the pie/fruit filling.

Repeat the steps until you get to the top of your bowl. Adjust for smaller containers.

Garnish with fruit/toppings of your choice.

Individual portions work great for progressive dinners and office parties.

Small plastic cups and bowls work too! Be creative and change the container(s) according to the holiday or function.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about an easy GF dessert that will steal the dinner party show + how we took a closer look at the labels of GF products and chatted about the importance of reading those labels carefully!

Tried it? Share your photos and comments to Twitter and IG by mentioning @ChasidyHathorn.

The hubby working on his next GF recipe. Check out his IG @stanhathorn for photos that look good enough to eat *wink*

 

 

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Shopping Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Locally

Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins at the Farmers Market at the Pavilion at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City

Pumpkin Spice season is here! *cue Spice Girls”

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)
I wanna really, really, really wanna a PSL with extra spice *wink*

After a little singing and dancing, it is time to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or a PSL and chat about how to join the pumpkin spice craze on a local level.

Taking a fall coffee break at The Corner Cup in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Abby enjoyed a hot Pumpkin Spice Chai while I went for an iced version. We even had a gluten-free, fall-inspired snack! **The Corner Cup has several gluten-free goody options!!**

First things first, find a local coffee shop and order up a pumpkin spice latte or chai (hot or iced–depending on the temps!). With coffee in hand, take a stroll downtown looking for pumpkin-spice inspired goodness.

One thing I love about living in the Northeast Tennessee area is all of the local coffee shops! There are so many good ones it is hard to pick a favorite, but I will go ahead and spill the beans about an upcoming SSL adventure blog. It involves Abby and I visiting several area coffee shops, and it will feature our top picks and why we love them! It is a hard job, but someone has to do it *wink*

Abby and I showing off our arm candy inspired by pumpkin spice and fall. Abby’s arm wrap is from Reclaimed Inspired in Johnson City and my stack is a combo of bracelets Abby made me + a BRANDED Collective leather wrap I purchased at Reclaimed Inspired.

Abby and I made our first stop at Reclaimed Inspired Goods in Johnson City. This darling store carries all kinds of lovely things–from kitchen wares to jewelry for a cause like BRANDED, a collective that employs survivors of human trafficking from Nashville-based non-profit End Slavery Tennessee. #getBRANDED

After strolling downtown Johnson City, we got in the car and headed for Main Street Jonesborough–about 15 minutes up the road.

A collection of pumpkin candles at Carolyn & Lee Chandlers located on Main Street in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Before exploring all the shops on Main Street, Abby and I went to The Corner Cup to get our fall-inspired beverages. You can’t stroll without sipping and spending *wink* One of my favorite new stores in Jonesborough is Carolyn & Lee Chandlers candle shop and studio (you can actually see them making the candles–which is soooo cool!!). Did I mention this place smells divine!! Oh, my! I love candles so much, and this place will help me add to my ever-growing collection. Shhhhh. Don’t tell the hubby.

Stay tuned for an upcoming SSL blog post all about Carolyn & Lee Chandlers + see the candles I couldn’t live without. #candlelovers #candleaddicts

Dear Hallmark,
Please film a Harvest or Christmas movie on Main Street in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Thanks so much,
Chasidy–a Hallmark and Main Street Jonesborough fan

Stopping for a selfie with one of the International Storytelling Festival tents in the background #OnlyInJonesborough

After coffee, candles, and selfies, we headed to one of my favorite antique stores in the area to do a little pumpkin-spice inspired shopping. If you love vintage and antiques, Main Street Jonesborough has several stores filled with goodies. I totally suggest grabbing a friend and spending the day on Main Street.

Jack is wearing these vintage hats well!

Does this qualify as a pumpkin spice find? Hmmm. Kinda sorta. And I really need this in my life–in my art studio.

Just look at all of the pretty hardware and drawers! It could hold so many art and craft supplies. *Dear Santa….*

It is really easy to bring fall colors into the home. Look for rich browns, buttery creams, burnt oranges, rusty reds, and golden yellows.

We ended our afternoon in Jonesborough at One.40.Four, where we spied this pumpkin-spice convertible top. Abby decided she needed one, and hopefully, we will be modeling it soon on the blog. I am so thankful she was able to come home for Fall Break. It was much fun shopping pumpkin spice with her. *sappy Mom moment*

The hubby and I taking an obligatory selfie at Lady of the Fountain in downtown Johnson City.

Whew! After a busy day of pumpkin-spice shopping and drinking PSLs, I decided an evening in downtown Johnson City was the perfect way to end a perfect day. Abby had other obligations, so the hubby and I decided to have a little date night.

Downtown merchants decorated scarecrows for the First Friday event.

This cutie was created by Reclaimed Inspired Goods.

Artisans’ Village is well-represented by this fabulous scarecrow!

The Local Company is your go-to shop for area art and artisans. It is the perfect place to find pumpkin-inspired goodies. So, go and treat yourself *wink*

After spending all day shopping and most of the evening out on the town, how does one recover? A pumpkin-spice mini-spa day, of course! I called up Salon Bella Dona, a premier Aveda salon and booked a Pumpkin Pie Pedi with Lexie Panepinto + Pumpkin Facial and microdermabrasion combo with Ex-fo-li-ate by Renee.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Mask at Salon Bella Dona in Johnson City, located on Bristol HWY.

Pumpkin Spice Scrub + Pumpkin Pie Mask = Perfect Fall Pedi Treat

Look at all of these fall colors! How do you choose?

It is very important for us to take time to treat ourselves. Whether it is a pedi or massage or just a moment of stillness on the porch with a good cup of coffee. We need these moments to rejuvenate our spirit, so we can go forth and conquer the tasks before us!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about pumpkin-spice shopping. From PSLs at your local coffee shop to facials from your local salon, pumpkin spice is easy to bring into your life! Now, I challenge each of you to head out to your local stores, coffee houses, salons, and restaurants and see what pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nice things you can find. Feel free to share your fun in the comment section below or to my FB page or by tagging me on Twitter|IG @ChasidyHathorn.

Cute pumpkins created by my sweet friend Julie at First Friday in downtown Johnson City

 

 

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Sculpture Walk at Founders Park in Downtown Johnson City + Tips for Viewing Public Art

It was the perfect day to explore the sculptures at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City.

Johnson City Public Art Committee hosted a guided tour of the 14 new sculptures on display in Downtown Johnson City on Saturday, September 30. Bill Brown, guest juror, walked us through Founders Park and the surrounding area making stops along the way to discuss the selected artists in this year’s Biennial Sculpture Exhibition. The walk was at a leisurely pace on a gorgeous, fall day with an open dialogue of the selection process.

Grab some friends and enjoy a walk through Founders Park and the downtown area. Be sure to download the Downtown Johnson City app and click “More” to access the “Public Art” guide.

Hey, y’all! It is time to grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell with me as we chat about the recent sculpture walk I attended at Founders Park. *happy dance* It was a lovely guided tour filled with fans of the growing public art scene in Johnson City. Bill Brown led the group and gave some pretty good tips on viewing outdoor sculpture. Using advice from Bill and my own experience, I have complied ten tips on viewing public art–with an emphasis on outdoor sculpture.

Bill Brown of Anvil Arts Studio, Inc. chatting about the importance of looking all away around a sculpture and seeing it from different viewpoints. How the piece looks from 60 feet away, 20 feet away, and 12 inches away.

tip one: slowly approach the artwork.

Take time to look at it from 60 feet away…20 feet away…12 inches away. How does the piece look differently from a distance versus up close?

This is one piece you need to see in person in order to really appreciate how it acts as a window to downtown Johnson City and its new, but old sign at King Commons.

tip two: look at how the outdoor artwork fits in and accentuates its surroundings.

Does the piece act as a window to something beyond it? How do the colors of the artwork play with the colors of nature that surround it? Does it complement its surroundings well? Does it blend it or stand out?

Fortitude II by artist Mark Krucke of Sarasosta, Florida. Krucke uses natural forms and mathematical formulas in his work. This piece is part of the Fortitude series which uses the Fibonacci spiral to create the stem and overall form of the leaf. To learn more about this artist, click here.

Aquarium by Marvin Tadlock of Bristol, Virginia. This large, steel sculpture presents the viewer with different phases of life, and an opportunity for the viewer to contemplate what is presented before them–from the titled aquarium to the fish that has sprouted a large set of wings.

tip three: observe each layer|element individually.

How does each element contribute to the artwork as a whole? How do the pieces flow together to tell the story of the artwork? Is it easy or difficult to see the different elements and layers? Is there one thing that stands out?

Bill Brown, the guest juror and sculpture-walk guide, asking the audience how “Aquarium” makes them feel and what they see in the piece. For more about this outdoor sculpture, download the Downtown Johnson City app and click on “More” to access the “Public Art” guide.

tip four: get to know the artists before you go.

Check to see if the city you are visiting has a public art guide/app. Visit the artists’ websites for their bios, photos of other works, and their contact info. Don’t be shy. If you have a question about an artwork, email the artist. **Most websites have contact forms. Don’t be afraid to use them!**

Marvin Tadlock explaining the lifecycle of his sculpture to the audience.

Marving Tadlock created “Aquarium” out of mild steel and stainless steel. Here, he is talking about the large fish that is still alive in the titled aquarium and the fish with the wings that appears to be taking flight. How cool it was to have the sculptor there explaining his artwork!

Marvin Tadlock standing with his 12.5-foot tall sculpture “Aquarium”–which represents the hope of a life hereafter.

tip five: walk all the way around.

How does the artwork change as you move around it? Do you have a favorite view of the piece? Why or why not?

“Balancing Time II” by Ed Walker of Seagrove, North Carolina, Fabricated aluminum, 12′ x 4′ x 6′. Walker’s goal is to show the reverence he has for the natural environment, and he hopes those viewing his sculpture will as well. To learn more about Ed Walker and his art, click here.

“Metamorphosis” by Mary Ruden of Seymour, Tennessee was donated for permanent exhibit by Marcia and Lewis Songer. This sculpture symbolizes life cycle, change, release, and rebirth. For more about Mary Ruden, click here.

tip six: look up.

How does the artwork contrast or work with the sky and the clouds? Does it look different on a cloudy day versus a sunny day. If so, how? 

“He Stopped and Turned to the Light” made of locust wood by Charlie Brouwer of Willis, Virginia was donated for permanent exhibit by Wexler. This sculpture reminds us all to take a moment and enjoy the warmth of the sun or a cup of coffee with a friend.

tip seven: compare the texture(s) of the artwork to the natural textures around it.

Are the texture(s) of the sculpture rough, uneven, smooth, fine…? Do those textures blend in or stand out against the sculpture’s surroundings? Is the artwork in the perfect location for its texture(s) or would it look better somewhere else? Explain why.

Next on the tour was “Arbor Spire” by Aaron Hussey of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“My sculpture, Arbor Spire, is one of many works continuous in a body of art that I have been investigating for decades. Organic and structural forms reference connections between the built environment and the natural world,” states Hussey.

“Genesis” by Marc Moulton of Statesboro, Georgia and Duke Oursler of Macomb, Illinois is located at the western entrance to Founders Park. It was the first work commissioned by the Public Art Committee.

Up close view of the Founders sculpture

Mother Nature also has an art show happening at Founders Park.

“Hybridized Daylily” made of granite and stainless steel was created by Shawn Morin of Bowling Green, Ohio. “Hybridized Daylily” started out as a granite flower for the artist’s wife, who is an avid gardener and loves the dayliles their son is creating as a part-time daylily hybridizer.

tip eight: compare the scale of the sculpture to its surroundings.

Is it too small, too large, or just right compared to its surroundings? Does the scale of the sculpture and its surroundings feel intimate, dramatic, natural…?

Larry Millard of Athens, Georgia created “Stepped Tower” out of steel, and the hazy, reflective surface gives glimpses of the sculpture’s surroundings. To learn more about the artist’s inspiration behind this piece, download the Downtown Johnson City app. To explore this artist, visit his website here.

tip nine: observe the color(s).

How many colors to you see? Are those colors part of the sculpture, or are those colors coming from its surroundings? Are the colors bold, vibrant, subtle, natural, muted…? How does the color of the outdoor sculpture work with its setting? 

“Divided” by James Westermann is “a great example of a piece that started off entirely different….Often you just have to listen to what the materials are telling you and go along with them.” (From the artist)

“Divided”
painted steel, granite
8′ x 5′ x 3′

Closer view of “Divided” by James Westermann

Great view of “Through Someone Else’s Eyes” and “Balancing Time II” at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee

tip ten: be open-minded.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to observe a work of art. You do not have to know fancy art terms in order to express your opinions or give your interpretations. Do not reject the ideas of others. They are just seeing it differently. It doesn’t make anyone right or wrong. Art is all about starting an open dialogue and keeping the conversation going by being open-minded!

“Through Someone Else’s Eyes” created by Elisha Gold of Memphis, Tennessee.

This is what I love about public art and this sculpture by Elisha Gold! The rusty old truck, the blue sky with wispy white clouds, and the tree with its slightly changing leaves–all of it working perfectly together.

“High Rise” by Charles Pilkey of Mint Hill, North Carolina is located on Buffalo Street in downtown Johnson City.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we explored some of the public art in downtown Johnson City. If you are in the area, take a tour of the local art and let me know what you think + share your photos with #exploredowntownjc. If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway, make Johnson City your destination.

To learn more about public art in Johnson City and the mission of Johnson City Public Art, visit their website here.