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Archive for October, 2014

The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands and Klay Hawk Dolls’ Creative Fantasy World

October 21st, 2014 by abedofroses

Karen Hawkins with some of her creations

Karen Hawkins with some of her creations

The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands just wrapped up its three day show at the US Cellular Center in Asheville and we never miss it. This juried exhibition with demonstrations and live regional music brings together the very best craftspeople in the area, all members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

We would like to highlight one of these talented artists, Karen Hawkins of Klay Hawk Dolls, based in Leicester, NC. Her figurative sculptures take you to a magical world of elves, fairies and trolls, all richly costumed and expressively sculpted and posed.

Karen's "Twilight Dryad"

Karen’s “Twilight Dryad”

Many of these one-of-a-kind dolls are posable and some come with enchanted environments with fellow creatures. The humor and imagination of her work is simply delightful.

With a BA and Masters degree in Fine Arts, Karen taught art in the public schools for many years and now that she has retired she devotes herself full time to creating magic. She continues to teach as well, conducting workshops from her studio for beginner to advanced students. Her work heading up GoFigure, a figurative artists group here in Asheville, continues to connect her to the schools. For the third year, in conjunction with the Buncombe County Library, they are celebrating Reading Awareness Month by providing Storybook Characters to the Library. They will also be visiting local schools during the month of March to share their work and the books that inspired them. All the works will be 3D characters inspired by children’s literature.

A look at the whimsical world of Klay Hawk Dolls

A look at the whimsical world of Klay Hawk Dolls

Come to Asheville this April to see the celebration conclude with a month-long exhibit at the main branch of the Buncombe County Library in the heart of downtown Asheville. You can also learn more about Karen’s work at her website klayhawkdolls.com or GoFigure’s website.  

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses- Mrs. Wolfson’s Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 11th, 2014 by abedofroses

Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookes

Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookes

One of my fondest childhood memories was of ducking under the wood rail fence to our next door neighbors house where her mother had just taken fresh baked chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. I’ll never forget how they smelled and Mrs. Wolfson always gave us some. My own mother was not a baker so this was an incredibly rare treat. I have often dreamed of how perfect those chocolate chip cookies were- thin and crisp at the edges but chewy and chocolaty in the middle. I never could duplicate them. On a recent visit with my older sister I mentioned them to Marianne and was amazed to discover that she had the recipe all along! I finally tried out the recipe, almost afraid that in my memory I had made them better than they were. Well, I don’t think so- these are pretty awesome! Keep a close eye on them while baking. The edges will be brown and a little crispy but be careful not to burn them!

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour, not sifted
  • Chocolate chips to taste (I used about 2 cups)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Add flour, mixing until smooth. You can add a few drops of water if the dough seems too stiff.
  5. Add chips.
  6. Space generous tablespoons of batter on cookie sheets, leaving room for them to spread
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes, watching closely.

Day Trips from Asheville- Explore Unique Small Towns near Asheville

October 5th, 2014 by abedofroses

Main Street shops in Waynesville

Main Street shops in Waynesville

It’s easy to get away from the crowds and find fun small communities to explore while you’re in Asheville. Historic and quaint downtown shopping areas, antiquing, hiking and mountain views abound in Western North Carolina. Weaverville, Brevard, Black Mountain, Waynesville and Hendersonville are all worth visiting and are just a short and scenic drive away.

Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesville is just outside the Pisgah National Forest and sits at an elevation of 2,752 ft. On a recent day trip to Waynesville we found a charming Main Street lined with gift shops, antique stores, art galleries and clothing shops. There’s a small town feel to the historic downtown shopping area. One shopkeeper told us people in Waynesville don’t lock their doors, it’s that kind of place.

The Patio Bistro's courtyard

The Patio Bistro’s courtyard

After scoping out the perfect antique chair for the Wilkinson Room at “Feather Your Nest” and marveling at Teresa Pennington’s colored pencil originals at “T. Pennington Art Gallery”, we found the perfect place for lunch. The Patio Bistro had outdoor seating in a little courtyard and served the most beautiful spinach and feta quiche I have ever seen. I seriously need that recipe! When the shopping resumed we were drawn into an antique shop by stunning antique stained glass windows and doors that the proprietor had collected from all over including Baltimore and New York. At the back of “Burl Wood Gallery” stood an imposing Napoleon III armoire that we would need to build an entire room to accommodate. Next house! “Gatekeepers” was our last stop to browse for gifts and unique home accessories. Our Halloween decorating will be fun this year with the gourd jack-o-lantern lights we found there! We did go back for the chair too!

A hollowed out gourd makes a wonderful jack-o-lantern

A hollowed out gourd makes a wonderful jack-o-lantern

All in all it was a lovely day trip.

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