Posts Tagged ‘Art Center’

I hate to admit it but I love to shop.  And even when the trend in my family and among friends is to stop the gift giving mania, I still operate as if I am on a diligent search for the elusive perfect gift.

This week I went to Clifton Forge and was smitten with the local Arts and Crafts Center.  Some of you have asked, “What did you buy?”

Sparkly Pin

Art Deco Shiny Pin for Dor

Well, I kept things under some control of course and bought the perfect gift of a stunning bejeweled pin, but wound up giving it to myself!

Then I saw the perfect gift (just for love) for Bill – a Four Way Screwdriver that sounds pretty mundane but the handle is of handcarved wood, and the tool actually does convert to four different size “heads” (I think that’s what you call them).   Bill seemed to like it a lot and it now has an honored place in a kitchen drawer to be used for those I-need-a-Phillipshead-moments.

4Way Screwdriver 2

Four Way Screwdriver With a Handcarved Wood Handle

Art Glass Nail File

Art Glass Nail File in a Velvet Pouch

Finally, even though this last item was not made locally, I knew it would bring me great joy.  You see, I had bought a tiny purse size version of  the Art Glass Nail File some time ago and loved it.  Always regretted not getting the standard size.  These files are produced in the famous Bohemian glass region of the Czech Republic and should last a lifetime with proper care (don’t drop it on a tile floor!).  They are also supposed to be good for your nails too and are beautiful to look at (the files, not my nails).

I’m ready to go back to the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge.

It is the perfect place for dreaming, shopping, buying, and maybe finding the perfect gift.



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To Lock Your Pocket

There is a special outdoor shopping center in Sedona, Arizona called Tlaquepaque (pronounced Teh-Loch-ah-Pahkey).   I do not know what it means, but one of the resident artists  said I should call it “To Lock Your Pockets” or prepare to spend a lot of money!

Built in 1971, this entrancing art/shopping center features amazing outdoor bronze statuary, delightful restaurants and cafes,  lovely shops and galleries, and the most beautiful jewelry imaginable.  There are more than 40 shops set among graceful arches, dancing fountains, tranquil plazas and shady verandas.  And there are four courtyards to explore with flowers and greenery, iron railings, hand painted tiles, surprise niches, and places to sit and ponder.

Fountain Magic

A Boy Takes Wing

A Boy Takes Wing

This little guy kept running back to the bird statue even though his Mom was calling him to leave it.  He was obviously enchanted.

Wild Horse Statue

I kept running back to this horse!

A Cowboy n His Dog

Bill and I and my brother and sister-in-law ambled around  admiring the bronze statuary and stopped at a wonderful little cafe for lunch.  In the end (locked pockets or not) we could not resist the shops.  I spotted exquisite handmade copper pendants, bracelets of Peruvian opals, smooth hand honed wooden treasures, stained glass in every variety and size,  and art – always art.

Artists make this place a true haven for discovering one-of-a-kinds.   Two of a kind work well too.  Viv  and I both found the same wonderfully soft eternity scarves.  According to the sales staff, we will always be “put together” because no matter how we throw them on they will look casually elegant.  If I send a photo you must let me know if this is actually true.

But if you are ever in Sedona plan to visit Tlaquepaque if only for a charming stroll or simply to sit in the shade if you think you can resist the shops full of wondrous things.

And of course,  enter those shops at your own risk and remember to “lock your pockets.”



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Spanish Village Art Center

There is a “value added’ benefit to blogging.  Sometimes favorite blogger friends unwittingly act as travel advisers.  That’s what Cindy Knoke of http://cindyknoke.com did for me.  If you haven’t visited her blog, plan to join the hundreds who recognize her photos from “The Holler” as fabulous, and her photos from her travels as worthy of National Geographic attention.

Anyway, Cindy once did a post on San Diego’s Spanish Village and I knew I had to go there and yes,  I was there just a few weeks ago!

Clown Welcome at Spanish Village The Spanish Village Art Center is a courtyard collection of quaint structures built in 1935 for the second California Pacific International Exposition.

The idea was to depict an old village in Spain and the results were so popular and so beautiful that the village was allowed to remain when the exposition ended.

I can certainly see why because today the Village is still the “stuff of dreams.”  First taken over by local artists it transitioned to a barracks during World War II, and finally determined artists restored it to what it is today.

There are 37 working artist studios/galleries that host over 200 local painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, jewelry designers, clay artists, gourd artists, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists, basket makers, mixed media artists, glass artists, enamel artists and more.

If I lived in San Diego, I know I would be spending days there for peaceful wandering and enjoying the enormous collection of talent and maybe even taking classes myself.

  Thanks Cindy for the phenomenal travel tip!  The Village is definitely worth seeing!

Tnksging CA Phoenix 2013 017

Spanish Village OverviewThe Stones Beneath Our Feet

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