Asheville Visions Photography

asheville sunset hominy valley

Asheville Visions Photography offers prints and digital images of fine art photography in and around Western North Carolina. We talked with them recently and here is what they had to say:

“We incorporated as an LLC in the Spring of 2013, when Tom Crook, Bob Young and (then) another third person combined to form the company. That third person has since retired and Bonnie Schwartz joined us in the Summer of 2014.

asheville city hall splashville

Our ideal customer is one who appreciates fine art photography and has a keen interest in Asheville, western North Carolina and its surroundings. We enjoy the opportunity to get “out there” and capture images that “say” something…ones that hit the heart of our viewer. We enjoy post-processing of our photos to enrich the image and focus the viewer better on the story. We also enjoy the camaraderie and the exchange of ideas among the three of us.

French Broad Imaging and Cold Mountain Photographic Society have been very helpful and supportive in our business.

oh great spirit asheville

There is an international organization of photographers called The Arcanum. It uses high technology to facilitate the ancient model of Master/Apprentice in the field of photography. There are only about 400 apprentices world-wide that have been selected into The Arcanum. Asheville, NC can boast at least SEVEN of this, which is an unusually high percentage for such a small town. Asheville Visions Photography, LLC lays claim to two (for now) of these seven and our third partner has applied for admission and should be accepted soon. This makes Asheville Visions Photography, LLC a well-credential photography business.

You can find Asheville Visions Photography on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

10 Cold Weather Tips For Your Asheville Home

asheville hvac heating air

As the Fall season moves into Asheville and Western North Carolina, there several things you should pay attention to when it comes to staying warm and safe. Mountain Air Mechanical put this list together for us:

    1. Check Smoke Detectors – make sure you change the batteries, and that they are in workable condition.
    2. Disconnect hose from bibs, and if possible, wrap it with insulation and insulated tape.
    3. Get your HVAC (heating & air) system maintained and tuned-up. There are several areas to cover with this:
      1. check gas pressure
      2. check for co2 leaks
      3. check refrigerant levels
      4. change filters
    4. Eliminate Air Flow Into Your Home – sealing windows, doors, and basements.
    5. Adding humidity to your home so you can protect it from hardwood floor shrinking, health risks, allergies, and static electricity.
    6. Have salt and other protective items to keep you steps and driveways from freezing over.
    7. If you have ceiling fans, they are great to push heat back down away from the ceiling and to living level.
    8. Make sure the outdoor HVAC is clean, free of leaves, branches and dirt; so it functions properly and does not get damaged.
    9. Make sure you actually have Oil or Propane in your heating system before making a service call. Many times people call when all they needed was a refill.
    10. Get your heating system is great working order before the Winter rush hits. Preventive maintenance is always better than emergency maintenance. Do not wait until everyone is calling for help.



Strolling Reynolds Village in North Asheville

reynolds mountain village asheville

When you think about all of the communities being built up on all ends of Asheville and Buncombe County, there are a few that quickly come to mind. Of course you have Biltmore Village, which was a community built for the workers who were constructing the Biltmore Estate. They recently had a wonderful grocery store named Katuah Market open which sort of completes that area. Except for housing, which the Biltmore Property Group has several plans in the works to make that happen. Then you have Biltmore Park Town Square, which was started several years ago, and has some key attractions such as a movie theater, restaurants, offices and a YMCA; in addition to their community of homes and condos. The East and West sides of Asheville have nothing even similar to these, but Reynolds Village, on Reynolds Mountain, is laying the foundation for the North side of town.

reynolds mountain fountain asheville

We recently took a ride up to visit the Reynolds Village Shops and see what they had going on. It was kind of quiet, but this place is up and coming, and not too established yet. They survived the great economy depression of this era and made it through. The focus was most likely survival during those times. As it seems, they do not have an effective marketing team that is building relationships with the community and vendors yet, so the buzz is low and it is not yet exploding with growth. They do not have a website for the business community and theloftsasheville.com site listed on the Shops at Reynolds Village Facebook page is a dead link. The ReynoldsMountain.com website is dated and has a big dead space through the center of it at the moment. What we are saying is that they are piecing things together and still have a lot of work to do. So from online perception, it may still seem “under construction” if you may. But this is not the case. There are plenty of stores open with merchandise that you want and need. As far as the “big picture”… it is coming soon, and we are placing our bets on this being a hot-spot on the north side in the near future. As pictured above, they do have a beautiful water fountain that we enjoyed sitting by and listening to. A nice mid-day break.

asheville ymca reynolds mountain village

Of course the YMCA is like the staple in these area communities. A great organization which brings a wide variety of folks around, giving exposure and awareness to the great shops in Reynolds Village. Here are some of the shops that you should definitely check out if you are up in that neck of the woods:

asheville hair salon and pet salon

A hair salon for both humans, and one for our furry friends. Sorry hamsters and rabbits, this place is for the dogs; and cats. And although Shampoodle’s has the word “Poodle” in it, I believe they accept dogs of all races. Minerva’s Beauty Salon for humans looks like a great spot, and the cuts they show on their Facebook page are beautiful. I would definitely try this place out for my own hair if I was not already committed or if I needed a change.

asheville pilates and 9 round

In addition to the YMCA, there are several other shops that focus on health and fitness, including 9 Round Fitness and Asheville Pilates.

asheville kids reynolds mountain

If you have kids, they have a couple of great stores that you must see! First is the Spellbound Children’s Bookshop which has been a wonderful store in the Asheville area for years. You can also purchase their books online. Next is a place called AMPed Up Kids Consignment & Boutique, which features so many quality items for the kiddos. Attention Parents: GET HERE! We had some social conversation with them recently on Twitter and it was good. We definitely need to stop in there soon.

asheville art reynold mountain

And if art is your forte, the Shops at Reynolds Village features the Andrew Charles Gallery, which is a hidden gem showcasing beautiful local art, and rare collections from times past. Their artifacts are from places such as Egypt, West Africa, New Guinea, Colima West Mexico; with the oldest item being 5500 years old. I have seen nothing like this place in Asheville. Amazing! Studio B is a a framing shop right across the street and features contemporary art from local artists as well. Both of these places are worth the drive alone to see the art.

asheville florist knitting diva

And there are two shops in here that you ladies will especially love. Kaylynne’s Briar Patch Florist has so many great selections and from what I hear, their creativity is like none other. And… The Knitting Diva, and she is all about yarn! This place actually started as a weekly meeting at the Well-Bred Bakery and grew into this. Talk about Asheville grown!

livis pantry reynolds mountain

Livi’s Pantry is a great little grocery store featuring high quality foods, wines and more. We stopped by there recently and had a small lunch, some coffee and a business meeting. The owner was wonderful to us! They have a cute mini wine bar in the back where you can sit and sip some of their great selections. With Vino Vino Wine Market recently closing, this is the perfect place to stop and grab a bottle or two. They also have a deli in the back, and they are serving Boar’s Head Meats; so it must be good!

And Moe’s Original Barbecue is opening shop right outside the gates of Reynold’s Mountain and The Shops at Reynolds Village, and that place is BBQ and Beer Heaven! We definitely know we will be spending a lot more time up this way. You should too!




Shopping at Asheville Overstock Outlets

asheville outlets overstock

I have to be honest. Discount, outlet and secondhand stores are not my cup of tea. I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for. I understand you can find a deal here and there, but I do not hunt. Asheville has a bunch of discount shopping stores all around. In addition to that, there are many consignment shops. Plus places like Goodwill have some great finds here and there. I am all for saving a buck, but not at my expense. Amazon and Ebay have plenty of deals, but you also have to be careful because I have also found out a few times that the retail store prices were actually cheaper. And ladies, watch out for those fake Coach bags! Sometimes you think you are getting a deal, but in reality you’re not. Many years ago, a friend of mine asked why I was buying a shirt at a Superstore in the area. I told him that the shirt was just as good as his Eddie Bauer and Gap shirts. He laughed and went on to explain to me about thread count and the better materials being used, how much longer it lasted, how it cleaned and ironed better, and how much more I would care for something of value. He was right.

asheville discount shopping

Today, I just don’t like cheap merchandise, stuff or anything! I rather one $20 Christmas gift than twenty $1 gifts. Quality over quantity. For example, when a friend of mine first told me about a $50 steak at Ruth’s Chris, my immediate reaction was “it must be great!” And it was. I also remember years ago watching the craze for a line of blue-jeans called Parasuco. I saw a video clip on TV of a pickup truck speeding and crashing through the front of a store, a bunch of guys jumping out with masks, clearing the shelves of only Parasuco jeans, and taking off. That is called a “five finger discount” around here lol. I thought “these jeans must be valuable”… so I went online, saw they were hundreds of dollars on the website, and then I went to Ebay and purchased several pairs for about $70 a piece. With the proper research, that was my type of deal!

asheville toy store

Recently, the family decided to stop by Overstock Outlet in Asheville North Carolina. My expectations were low, but after being there for a few minutes, I realized that this place did not stock a bunch of junk. I walked through and was able to find a bunch of quality items of value such as clothing, tents, camping supplies, fishing gear, electronics, housewares, food, gadgets and plenty more. I then understood the level of merchandise they had, and how the discounts were being passed down to local shoppers. These are items that a retail store have too much of, or maybe in a damaged box, and sometimes discontinued selections. Much like the bed mattresses that ReBed offers. I picked out a few things that I could really use, and then my daughter showed up with a big stuffed animal duck in her arms. I estimated the value in my head at $40, looked at the price tag, saw it was only $7, and ended up with a smile on my face. She was excited too!

asheville shopping

And she did not want to let her find go, so I chauffeured her around in the shopping cart with Ms. Duck. We also found an easel that was $70 in other stores, and only $13 here. I talked to the owner and he mentioned how they go through every item to assure it is complete and really a good deal. If not, they do not put it on the shelves. The conclusion… we will definitely take a few minutes to stop by every now and then to see what they have. And I will buy here again. Asheville’s Overstock Outlet has 3 area locations, one in Candler on Smoky Park Highway right before you hit Hwy 151. The other is on Sardis Road near the Brevard Rd end. And lastly, they have one in Mills River.

23 Funky Finds at Asheville’s Sweeten Creek Antiques

asheville sweeten creek antiques The Asheville Antique world is growing by leaps and bounds. Along with beer city USA and foodie city USA; antique city USA is definitely sneaking up on us. Of course there is the Antique Tobacco Barn, a new spot name Reliks and many others; but Sweeten Creek Antiques is one of our personal favorites. Even their website is antique lol, but it has directions if you wish to get there. We stopped by there the other day and got to experience the whole store. Well kind of. We did not have enough time at each booth, but we got to browse them at least. Here are 23 “Funky” and maybe even “Not So Funky To You” Finds at Asheville’s Sweeten Creek Antiques: asheville statue of liberty The original Statue of Liberty! This was actually the smaller version, the one France originally sent us; but the USA was insulted and told them to shove it! So it ended up here. Now she is looking for a home. asheville trolls I know, I know, trolls are everywhere around Asheville. But these guys are cute! asheville playboy Oh yeah, I just love vintage pornography lol. Now we know the filth grandpa used to read. asheville wheelchair A vintage wooden and wicker wheelchair. This is all Asheville will be using in the future. Homemade, handmade wheelchairs made from organic wood. asheville hom art Asheville stoner quotes made into art! asheville bee happy The Bee Happy booth… reclaimed, recycled and repurposed furniture and home decor. This spot is a store in itself! asheville players A sign calling for Players! There is no shortage of these type in Asheville. Especially the women hahaha 😉 asheville head hunter This dude is either a victorious gladiator, or a headhunter from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Yeah, we have them too. Celebrate diversity! asheville antique furniture

Some stolen furniture from the Biltmore Estate. I will ship it to my condo in London.

king louis xiv asheville Got to hang with King Louis XIV during intermission. And yes, those are dreads he is wearing. asheville home decor A cute and colorful corner that just brightened my whole day 😉 asheville baby carriage A wicker baby carriage. If you are ultra local grown, you will have one of these, handmade in Asheville, instead of one of those commercialized ones you buy at Wal-Mart or Babies R Us. Surely some hippie put this thing together. Don’t trust it! asheville wigs These four chicks kept staring at me. Then I noticed they all had wigs on. asheville man cave Ahhh, the man cave. Every man needs one, or to be a member of one. asheville mannequins Headless tie dye and painted mannequins. Say goodbye to blowup dolls! These 3 ladies are the organizers for both the GoToplesss, and GoBottomless campaign in Asheville. asheville pirate ship A handmade pirate ship! Just what I need floating around in my jacuzzi. asheville bison head Painted bison heads. Now I know what I am going to be for Halloween. You can also use these for satanic rituals so no animals are harmed in the process. asheville fedora hats A couple of Fedora hats! Great. Now I could look like “That Hipster” anywhere I go. asheville suitcase A chest (slash) suitcase (slash) dresser (slash) closet. We were so much more creative back in the days. asheville bar stools Lime green bar stools, just in case Austin Powers stops by. Or better yet, Foxy Cleopatra! Yeah baby!!! asheville nativity scene A vintage nativity scene. I guess there was no room for them at the Inn either, so now they live here; just waiting in anticipation for another virgin to get pregnant. asheville merry go round A merry-go-round with a pole. Just what I wanted for my bedroom. My ladies portable stripper pole has got to go. We gonna ride the white pony! asheville_stuffed_animals And… in the kids PG section, they have lots of toys including this stuffed animal that says “I Love You!” This whole building is awesome. If you are in the Asheville area and looking for lots of wonderful merchandise; this is the place to be!