Playing Dress-UP

I changed the way I look at jewelry Monday night.  I didn’t learn anything about measurements, techniques, or jewelry biz lingo really.  I don’t remember the names of the gorgeous gems or stones I was tinkering with either.  I didn’t want to know those things.  However, when Asheville jewelry-maker, Nadine Fidelman invited me into her home, she taught me all I could ever hope to learn about why we choose to decorate ourselves the way we do.

At first glance jewelry is like looking out into a crowd of people.  There are a lot of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles all running together into rainbow overload.  The first thoughts are, ‘oh I see pretty things,’ and then we start searching for a focal point.  It is in that search that we realize we’re being pulled towards certain things and we start to examine why.  While I was zeroing in on a generally smooth black stone with a noticeable organic crack in the upper right corner I could overhear one of my side kicks talking about the jewelry.

“It’s not just beads, they’re individual pieces,” I heard my fellow playmate Kelly Allen offer.

At first I thought, ‘yeah, ok, there’s a lot of different jewelry here.  I can see that.’  Then I took a breath and thought about that word individual. I realized what she meant, and that I wasn’t just looking at the pieces, I was meeting them.  I went back to my black stone, noticing the gorgeous, crystal-esque inclusions the flaw revealed.  I was in love.  I thought of my own personality, how I like the rawness in life, and the beauty I find in truth.  I also believe in fighting like hell and collecting battle scars…I thought of how hard it is being a writer and how far I still had to go in the world of manuscripts.  I wanted that beautiful stone.  I had found my connection.

Lorna's Fave!

  Lorna’s Fave!

 

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We moved the party to the carpet where  the impossible not love, Nadine plopped right down with us, kicking her shoes off ready to dig in.  She shared stories with us about where she had found inspiration for her work, and let her obvious passion for her trade seep out onto us.  We started tossing necklaces and bracelets around, trimming ourselves in the jewelry like we did our mothers’ as children.  We’d try a piece on in between sips of girly shelf white wine, and chat about what we’d chosen. I asked the other three girls what they thought of what they’d selected.

Nadine chatting with Kelly about healing stones

Nadine chatting with Kelly about healing stones

Kelly, who had remarked earlier on the individualism, was drawn to stones she knew to have healing qualities.  As cancer survivor, officially in remission since January; she keeps her eyes peeled for items in nature than bode healing qualities.  Her journey with her sickness, and attention to wellness has brought her upon her choices in jewelry.  Out of those stones, one in particular jumped out at her.

“This one looks like a fishing lure,” she commented excitedly holding up the yellowish vertical stone,” like my Daddy used.”  She set it down smiling.  She had found her connection.

Whitney Thompson, a native Ashevillian piped up from the other side of the circle, holding up a gorgeous blue stone in a similar fashion. “This one reminded me of the sea,” she said.  “It’s like when you’re little.  I just wanted to take my flip-flops off.  When I saw it I wanted to go to the beach and run around.”

Whitney explaining what she loved about the peice whitpic
Whitney explaining what she loved about the piece 

Whitney’s stone actually provoked a childhood memory to surface, making her feel carefree again as she had in her most innocent years.  Whitney had found her connection.

The youngest of the group, Hannah, a 16-year-old, chose a piece unlike the rest of us, without a stone.  Her piece was raw, twisted sterling silver wired, manipulated by hand into an untamed yet simple set of earrings.  I chuckled thinking how the piece was like being a teenager, beautiful, unsure which direction it was going, and not as simple as it appeared to be.  They fit Hannah just perfectly, and hung daintily on her young ears.  She had made her connection.  I wonder if she knew…

Dainty Hannah

Dainty Hannah

While I was pondering this Whitney was perusing the backside of a necklace, “you know, their backs are just as pretty and detailed as their fronts.”

Nadine explained to the group how this is one of her trademarks.  I thought how much it made sense because there are different sides to women…many sides.  They are sometimes tucked away against our own skins for only us to enjoy and sometimes decided to be displayed so people can see our normally hidden sides.  Nadine told us she’d even been in public and saw her creation flipped over, showing them from the opposite sides.  What self-expression.

I learned something Monday night.  Jewelry isn’t just embellishment, it’s an embellishment of us.  Often times who we are is in the tiny details of the things we choose to let represent us.  We weren’t wearing jewelry, we were wearing little pieces of who we are.  I thought I was going to just play dress-up, and I did to an extent.  I just didn’t know I would be using Nadine’s art to dress up as myself.

 

If you want to make your connection with Jewelry by Nadine check out her collection at the Kress Emporium in downtown Asheville.

19 Patton Ave,  Asheville, NC 28801

If you’d love your own play date with Nadine call her 828-654-0993 or email her at nfidelman@pobox.com

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Have an interesting story?  Contact AskAsheville’s Lorna Hollifield at lornalh@gmail .com 828-280-1799

 

Find out more about Lorna’s writing journey at http://lornahollifield.com

Fine Artists Walton, Monaghan Celebrate the Season with River Arts Open Studio Specials

The “Second Saturday” festivities on Dec. 14 in Asheville’s historic River Arts District promise seasonal treats for gift-givers and art lovers alike as they meet and greet artists-in-residence

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Discriminating art lovers will want to take this chance to meet and greet artists Cindy Walton and Fleta Monaghan if they’re considering investing in the finer things of life as a seasonal treat on Saturday, Dec. 14, as part of the “Second Saturday” festivities in Asheville’s River Arts District.

Cindy Walton

Walton's "Sky Danse," 2013

Walton’s “Sky Danse,” 2013

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Artist Cindy Walton of Cindy Walton Fine Art, co-hosts a holiday open studio during “Second Saturday” at The Wedge Building. There, she will co-host a holiday open studio during “Second Saturday” at The Wedge Building from her second floor studio from 5-8 p.m. She, together with the other top-tier artists in residence, will be present for the festivities – and the shopping. A little elf told us that Cindy will have special pricing on selected cold wax paintings during the open studio. With her rising star reputation, her paintings are rarely offered at these advantageous prices. 

Cindy Walton Fine Arts is on the second floor of The Wedge Building, Roberts Street, and at www.cindywalton.com.

Monaghan’s “Fairfield Falls,” 2013

 Fleta Monaghan

Fleta MonaghanFleta Monaghan is known both for her own prowess as a fine artist and for her leadership in the profession as the founder of this hot gallery spot. Under her direction, 310 ART Gallery also celebrates the holiday season this “Second Saturday” from noon -5 p.m.

 “We feature 21 local fine artists and artisans showing original paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glass art and more,” she says.

 While enjoying refreshments, ask for the winter workshop schedule for adult art classes. We also expect reindeer will pause here for the hand-bound books and jewelry specials bound to make it to the tip toe of that special someone’s stocking – plus, a delightful 10 percent discount off original works by Monaghan.

 The 310 Art Gallery is at 191 Lyman Street, Studio 310, and at www.310art.com

Sherri McLendon is a freelance writer with McLendon Bylines, www.sherrimclendon.com, near Asheville, N.C.




1st Annual Yarn & Fiber Crawl in Asheville

Friends & Fiberworks, a local business located in the Biltmore Square Mall, is sponsoring the first annual Asheville Yarn & Fiber Crawl May 14th – 15th.

What is a Yarn/Fiber Crawl ?

A Yarn/Fiber crawl is a fun way to acquaint all fiber enthusiasts and artists with regional independent retailers and the companies that supply and distribute the yarns and accessories they carry.  This is done by creating a self guided itinerary for the exploration of participating stores.  The stores participate by creating  special promotions, excitement and interest in various fiber mediums.  Participating companies share in underwriting the event and contribute full sized samples of their marvelous products which are included in the raffle baskets that are on display at every store along the crawl.  There is one raffle basket for every store.  Everyone is eligible to enter the Raffle.  There is never a charge to go on a crawl, and you go on your own time frame and at your own speed.  Every participant  on a yarn crawl is entitled to one FREE RAFFLE ticket from each store they visit.

Destinations included on the Yarn & Fiber Crawl itinerary are:

  • Friends & Fiberworks – Biltmore Square Mall, Asheville
  • Asheville NC Homecrafts – Asheville
  • Earth Guild – Downtown Asheville
  • Purl’s Yarn Emporium – Downtown Asheville
  • Yarn Paradise – Biltmore Village – Asheville
  • The Goldeski Farm – Asheville
  • Yarn Nook – Candler
  • Black Mountain Yarn Shop – Black Mountain
  • Nice Threads Fiber/Gallery Studio – Back Mountain
  • Charlotte’s Fibers – Brevard
  • North Woods Fiber & Farm – Inman, SC
  • Orr Farm

Support your local Western North Carolina fiber crafts community and stores by participating in this fun event! More information, itineraries, and maps of participating locations are at www.ashevilleyarncrawl.com

About Friends & Fiberworks

Friends & Fiberworks is a local Asheville business headquartered in the Biltmore Square Mall. They are a community yarn shoppe and learning center, and offer classes on everything from weaving, spinning, dying, knitting, crochet, and more. They have over 2,000 sq ft of yarn, fiber, and crafting supplies. If you enjoy fiber arts but don’t have time to take a class, come on down and sit in a comfortable chair and participate in one of the many ‘sit and knit’ nights they have throughout the month. If you are having a problem with a project, or just have a question to ask, one of the friendly staff will be sure to assist you. Looking for a yarn, set of needles, or something else that they don’t have? Ask, and they will gladly order it for you, and let you know when your order has arrived!

Grab your knitting needles, spinning wheel, weaving loom, or craft of your choice and head on down to check out Friends & Fiberworks at the Biltmore Square Mall!

 




Asheville’s River Ridge Marketplace

I have been shopping at the River Ridge Marketplace in Asheville North Carolina regularly for many years. Great stores including Kitchen & Company, Hallmark, Dress Barn, Rugged Wearhouse, AC Moore, a new CVS, and several more. Kind of mad when Laser Tag left awhile back, but getting over it.

Food establishments include J&S Cafeteria, Fat Buddies Ribs and Barbeque, McDonald’s, and KFC. There is also a shopping establishment across the street that features Babies R Us, Golf USA of Asheville, Bilo, Advance Auto Parts, Subway, and Burger King.
All of these stores are only 5 minutes away from the Asheville Mall and 2 minutes away from the Asheville Wal-Mart.