juicin' up

This would be me playing hooky yet again. 
I didn't really get much done yesterday after Phuni's email and it worked out that it was kind of a holding pattern day anyway - waiting for components and earrings to run through the tumblers.  I had been planning today's excursion for a while, so I just went with it and am so very glad I did.

Today was the first day of the Southern Highlands Guild fair ... and for me, usually a mixed emotional bag.  I have lots of friends in the SHG - lots.  I've applied to the Guild, oh I don't know, at least 4 or 5 times.  Over the years, I've gotten to various stages of the application process and the last time (early last year), I didn't even get past the first photo stage.  Luckily at this time in my life I have a great deal of confidence in my work and don't have my self-worth tied up in not being in 'the Guild'.  There was a time ........ but that time is long gone.

The other thing is the SHG membership is heavily weighted towards traditional craft and very light in the more contemporary world I like to travel.  The work is very high quality, but on the whole, (as Jeane says) not my flavor.  Ahhhh, but today was different.  I had a purpose in mind, an agenda.  Firstly to see my good friends Crim and Willow.  Crim is half of the BeeGlow team of Bee Global. 
Crim and Jeff live on an amazing property in the beautiful Stecoah Valley about 2 hours west of here.  Crim grows and presses all the flowers they use in their candles and is one of my favorite people on the planet - kind of like a little sister.  We actually managed to squeeze in a lovely chat, narrow down a time to visit and maybe put some of my jewels in their beautiful gallery.

Next I got to visit with Willow for a few minutes.  Willow has quite a following and is always busy, so it was nice to have any time with her at all.  She does the most incredible woven bead jewelry - truly spectacular.

Next on my agenda was to track down Barbara Zaretsky of Cloth Fiber Workshop.  I'm a huge fan of her work as well (didn't get any of her images - sorry).  She's one of the new breed of more contemporary artists that have been infiltrating the SHG.  She has a new space in the RiverArts District for hosting workshops and I've been wanting to take something for ages, just nothing really hit me.  But there's one the end of this month that I'm going to sign up for - an embroidery workshop with Heather Allen-Swarttouw - another artist/Guild member that was on my list to track down.  I figure it's good timing since I'm on this hand stitching thing, also good to get out of my secluded little world and work on my social skills.  Here's one of Heather's mixed media pieces that was at the show today.

She also does really excellent things with steel wire and gut - there's a workshop for that late October at another new discovery - the Asheville Book Works.  Well, actually I've know about the shop in West Asheville for a while, just didn't know they teach workshops and a wide variety of workshops to boot.

I've got more discoveries, but it's time to stop and work on our evening meal. 

and blessings - kvk