Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HOW TO AVOID HOLIDAY MADDNESS!

 Recently I posted the Christmas Countdown Clock on our Bluemoonistic Facebook page and received all kinds of “Ughs”, “Nos” and “Bah-humbugs”.  This got me thinking about where the joy of anticipation for the season has gone.  No doubt this world is in a crazy state of mind these days and the 3-second-sound bites pressure us to go faster and faster until everything becomes a blur.  Some stores start putting up holiday decorations right after Labor Day and the sense of magic is definitely destroyed when you see a cackling witch standing next to Rudolph!  This has nothing to do with magic – this is just marketing!  Companies are becoming better and better at getting the public to buy unnecessary plastic objects that will break within a month and offer no lasting value to our lives.  Now that is “Holiday Maddness”!

The pleasure of selecting the perfect gift for that special person has gotten lost in the advertisements for the lowest prices and newest gadgets.  Instead of thinking  “quality” we are all thinking “quantity” as the measuring stick for holiday joy.  So how do we make our hearts grow three sizes and recapture the magic this year?  Our suggestion – look to local artisans who have spent their time creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts that will make you feel like one of Santa’s Elves again!  There are many wonderful holiday craft fairs, or check with your local art council and find out what they have to offer.  

Turn off the TV or radio or the zillion suggestions Twitter and Facebook are throwing at you because they have been trolling your connections, and start looking closer to home!  We’d like to offer some links to folks we know offer quality beyond your wildest expectations.  Artists and store owners who want their businesses to succeed but also want you to have the best holiday season ever!  Along with the Bluemoonistic team these folks work to use their creativity to make the world a better place.  We hope these ideas are just what you need to make the next couple of months a happier and more meaningful time!  Joy to the World…

Bluemoonistic Images – check us out online for a variety of products as well as beautiful prints for sale at CatchLight Gallery in downtown West Jefferson.  Call us for assistance in ordering or with any questions.  We will be happy to help you!


Quilt Square Girls – a wonderful variety of creative quilt squares to be used inside or out that carry on a wonderful mountain tradition!  Call Syndi or Renee Brooks for custom orders or the opportunity to stop by their studio in West Jefferson NC.  Talking to these ladies is like wrapping yourself in a warm, cuddly quilt!

Social in Nature – Hand-etched glassware designs!  Original wine, beer and spirit glassware. Unique gifts that are truly one of a kind!  Give Adam Weisbrodt a call to see where his works can be purchased.  His studio is in Raleigh NC.

Robbins Bearly Rustic Furniture – Trees are artistically sawn, dried and designed into aesthetically pleasing furniture.  Mike has a studio in West Jefferson NC and Apex NC. Mike Robbins will be happy to help you pick out the perfect piece that will be part of your home forever.

Ashe County Arts – The Ashe County Arts Council supports a variety of wonderful artists in Ashe County and displays them in their shop in downtown West Jefferson.  You will be able to discover many artistic ideas for gifts.

CatchLight Gallery – A co-op of local photographers who sell their art in various mediums and styles!  Lots of photographic art that will offer beauty and nostalgia.  The photographers working there will be happy to talk photography and help you make a selection.  They are located in downtown West Jefferson. Open Wed – Sat 10am – 5pm

Home Video Studios – Profession Video Services offered by a local couple from Apex.  Saving memories is a wonderful gift – video to DVD transfer, DVD and CD duplication, home movie transfers, 35mm slide transfers and video tape repair.  Located in downtown Apex, NC  Stop by and Peter and Sharon Galluzzo will help you create a wonderful gift.

The Fotoshoppe – Offers a large variety of printing services from photo development, mounting, restoration and photo classes.  Ernest Cole and Stacy Bowden know their stuff and are willing to help you personally. This is not the usual cookie cutter chain variety of print services.  Create online and pick up in the store. Located in Cary, NC

Blue Mountain Metal Works -- Artistically designed  metal works just doesn't begin to tell you everything Dirk Brown creates.  Check out the variety of beauty he offers from his studio in Boone, NC.  His website will get you started with all kinds of ideas!

The West Jefferson Christmas Gallery Crawl --  December 6th -5-8pm  More than 18 galleries in downtown West Jefferson will be offering wonderful ideas for holiday gifts.  Come enjoy complimentary beverages, appetizers and art! We promise this will be a pleasant experience for the entire family!

The Ashe County Farmers Market Holiday Fair – Local vendors who are part of the Farmers Market come together to offer a variety of holiday and handmade crafts.  They will be open from 10am – 2pm on the Back Street in West Jefferson on November 23, November 29(Black Friday), November 30 and December 7, 2013! 

The Ashe County Christmas Tree Growers -- And let us not forget the wonderful experience of cutting your own Christmas tree!  Click on this link and find a Christmas tree farm that you would like to visit.  It is always a magical experience!

Carolina Country Wines -- our friends Bernie & Terri Filipski are what you might call "artisans" of wine!  Not only is their store a fun place to gather and get that special holiday bottle of wine but they support local artists!  We were one of the first to grace their back room with photos from our "Grape Imaginations" gallery and their has been a new artist every month!  Be sure to check out the art in their back tasting room when you visit them!  They will definitely make your holiday experience more joyful!

These are only a few examples of opportunities to purchase gifts that we know will offer you holiday memories you will want to remember.  We have purchased from all these artists and have wonderful treasures to show for it.  If you know of others please list them in the comments below. This is just the beginning -- Let’s share positive experiences and end holiday madness!!! 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BLUEGRASS COMES BACK OVER THE MOUNTAINS



Bluegrass has always been in the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and in every festival across our land.  It is played in living rooms, churches, front porches, backyards and country stores!  One of the reasons the Bluemoonistic Team moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains was to be a part of this music.  So you can imagine how thrilled we were to find out that the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) was bringing their awards ceremony to Raleigh, NC, this year!  We bought our tickets and headed out to see if the music and all the groups we have listened to over the years would be more accessible to the people who love it than in past years when all we could do was listen on the radio!  What greeted us was a scene that we found incredible to believe!  Bluegrass music rang throughout the city in so many venues it was hard to keep up, not to mention Wide Open Bluegrass taking to the streets for free concerts!  

We were able to listen to our old favorites, current bluegrass stars, and the next generations coming up the ranks.  But more than “listen” – we were able to meet many of these folks!   The amazing thing about bluegrass musicians – it doesn’t matter if they are the IBMA Entertainers of the Year or just kids starting out – they are always happy to meet you!  They are genuine and real people that talk to their fans and appreciate them! 

The musical talent that we were able to experience was overwhelming!  We were saturated with bluegrass down to our toes and loved every minute of it!  It was the biggest and best Bluegrass Festival we have ever experienced!  So we just want to say thanks to the IBMA, Raleigh, and all the folks that helped put together this great festival!  We are glad you brought the music back over the mountains to a place where we could all experience it.  So appropriate since North Carolina is the birthplace of Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, two legendary bluegrass musicians!

Here are some bluegrass memories of the 2013 IBMA World of Bluegrass Bluemoonistic style!  We couldn’t resist taking a few “fan photos” of ourselves AND we want to include a photo of Brandy Miller and the Calvary Reflections because we consider these young pickers to be future stars who also got to perform at this event!  We love bragging about talent from our own Ashe County NC!  Then head over to our website and take a peek at a new gallery just created called “Bluegrass Images”!   We will definitely be back next year for more!  See ya there!


Brandy Miller and the Calvary Reflections--Luke Dotson(Lead Guitar, Tenor & Lead Vocals), Darron Dotson(Rhythm Guitar & Baritone Vocals), Brandon Miller(Bass) & Cory Piatt(Mandolin)

Becky with Jens Kruger (Kruger Brothers) Favorites we see often in Todd, NC!  Jens received the Steve Martin Banjo Excellence Award for 2013

Dale with Della Mae (IBMA 2013 Emergining Artists of the Year) band members Shelby Means and Celia Woodsmith

“Our Smiles tell it all…”








Thursday, August 22, 2013

PICTURE YOURSELF AT THE FARMERS MARKET

One thing that puts us in a state of Bluemoonistic Bliss is going to the Ashe County Farmers Market on Saturday mornings in downtown West Jefferson!

The Market bounty is amazing but it is so much more than that – it is a community meeting place.  We love greeting the vendors, many who have become good friends over the years, but we always meet many other friends and neighbors as well.  It is definitely the “Meeting Place” on the Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson on Saturday mornings – rain or shine!  It gives us a sense of neighborhood that we have never felt anywhere else. 


Naturally Dale takes his camera along to see what images he can capture.  We would like to share a few of these that show the magic of our market!  Check out all the Vendors at the Ashe County Farmers Market – this is just a sampling of the great offerings that you will find there!  See you on Saturdays for a Summer long Celebration!  Support your local farmers and help sustain our community!














Thursday, July 18, 2013

ARE YOU HAVING AN ARTISTIC SUMMER?

Summertime equals vacations, pool time, hikes in the mountains and picnics by the lake.  So while you are coming up with ways to enrich your life and slow down the pace a bit – THINK ART!  It is the time of year when gallery crawls, art exhibits, book signings and craft shows abound.  While the pace for the general public attempts to slow down, the art world goes into high gear!  It is the perfect time to take your family out “together” and experience the art community in ways that will offer experiences that you cannot get any other time of year.  It is one big museum fix rolled into a lot of small communities across our country!

We recently had visitors come to the high country and the ages of the children ranged from 9 – 40 with adults thrown in for good measure.  Our tour guide problems were solved by the diversity of artistic endeavors offered in Ashe County!  We are becoming an Art Mecca – what a wonderful handle to acquire!  We have many wonderful places to take family photos and learn about the culture at the same time.

One of our greatest family experiences was when the Quilt Square Girls offered their time to teach us how they go about creating their barn quilts.  Everyone got into this activity and we all quickly realized how much work goes into making these magnificent quilt squares.  Seeing artists at work and learning “how to” is a unique experience for all ages.  In our group we found a future quilt square girl who really got into the craft!  Finding new talent is always inspiring for all!


Let us offer photos that illustrate – you know “a picture is worth a thousand words”!  Go out and smell the roses, taste the paint, and soak up those new art forms you never knew about!  The cell phones may not be forgotten but you may be amazed at all the tweets and facebook posts that talk about your art adventures!  Who knows how many more will get inspired!!





A special Bluemoonistic THANKS to the Quilt SquareGirls, the Ashe Arts Council, and the West Jefferson Christmas in July team!  Ashe is an Art Mecca and we love being part of it!  A special thanks to All Ashe Artists who help create our Art Mecca!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

LIBRARY LOVE

In our Bluemoonistic opinion the Ashe County Library is one of the best places ever to hang out!  They have a beautiful facility on top of the hill overlooking West Jefferson, NC, which offers many wonderful activities for the whole community.  I’ve loved libraries since I was a wee lass who thought I was very special because I could take books home with me.  

We consider ourselves especially lucky to be the “Artists of the Month” for the month of May at the Ashe County Library.  They sponsored a reception for us this last Saturday so folks could come by and discuss all the local photos we have displayed (and yes, all were taken locally)!  We also want to offer a special thank you to Julia May and Kim Grindrod, who brought refreshments as well! 

Dale enjoyed discussing where the photos were taken, the different mediums he uses and the variety of techniques.  We REALLY appreciate all the interest and support for Bluemoonistic Images!  Stop by the second floor anytime during the month of May and check out our art and our new book "The Perfect Escape Through Images"!  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us – bluemoonistic.images@gmail.com! 









Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Has Digital Photography Changed the Art World?


As the age of computers and the internet became part of our everyday lives, so has digital photography.  Computers and digital photography basically grew up together and formed a bond that few in the beginning of both creations could have imagined.  No one believed even twenty years ago that every home would have a computer.  The same evolution happened with professional photographers and it was impossible to convince them that the digital camera could ever be anything other than a toy.  Their mantra was that the digital age would never replace film!

That’s history now and almost every mobile device has a camera, but did you know that Kodak developed the first digital camera.  They kept it under wraps  because they did not believe the new technology could ever do as well as their sales of film?  In my opinion, this reinforces the belief that commercial marketers do not always know best! 

The same saga seems to be playing out in the art world.  I just read an article this past weekend in a popular photography magazine, that the only way for photographers to sell their work as a true “professional” was to be in a high end gallery with some type of print media.   I couldn’t believe I was reading this in 2013!  Do you see a common thread here?   

Believe me when I say we know the value of seeing any art form in person!  We love walking through art galleries and museums as much as anyone.  But we also feel there is great value in everyone being able to purchase Fine Art Photography!   The fact that digital cameras are more and more accessible to everyone is a good thing.  However, that doesn’t make everyone who owns one an “artist”!   I don’t believe that professional photographers need to be afraid that will make them obsolete.

However, I do think that the way Fine Art Photography is sold is bound to change.  It doesn’t have to be just for a certain class of people any longer or in a fixed format.  Everyone now has the ability to see and purchase great quality art on the Internet without lowering the value! 

Bluemoonistic has found ways to combine online sales through our website with local events and locations that offer us a myriad of ways to display our images.  Many businesses are thrilled to hang our photographic art and it is always a win-win for us both.  We may not be able to afford our own brick and mortar gallery but it hasn’t stopped us from finding new and creative ways to display our art form.  The upside to this also is that we have total artistic control over our own art work.  We embrace the future and new ways to make the entire world a better place for everyone through BluemoonisticImages!

Thanks to everyone who has supported our efforts!








Friday, March 15, 2013

What do you want your "OZ" to look like?


So you wake up tomorrow morning and realize that right before you is a beautiful, lush green forest!  The calm path in front of you makes you want to jump out of bed and begin your journey.


As you sit at the kitchen table and sip your coffee you gaze into the Far Blue Mountains and they fill you with hope for a beautiful new day!


This doesn’t have to be a dream!  These photographs and others like them could be hanging on your walls.  I know this because we have these Bluemoonistic photographs hanging on ours and I find myself escaping through them many times during the day!

Because The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies, it is easy for me to have a “clicking my heels three times” experience and put myself wherever I want to be by looking at these photographs.   We aren’t Wizards but when I look at Dale’s photographs I believe he sees through a magic lens!  He has the ability to see details that you and I do not.  That’s his magic!  Fortunately, for all of us we can enjoy that magic in our homes, businesses, computers or even phones. 

We have a variety of galleries and you can explore Natural Wonders, a Smoky Mountain High, Grape Imaginations, Tropical Dreams, Man Made Wonders and more!  Dreams can come true!  Check them out including “The Perfect Escape Through Images” book at  www.bluemoonistic.com!  If you need any assistance regarding style or size please give us a call or send us an email.  We can discuss our wizardry and help you create your very own Oz!