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Posts Tagged ‘Clifton Forge VA’

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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Brochure Arts CntrThere are things happening in the small town of Clifton Forge, Virginia.  I didn’t realize how many things.

My friend and I stopped there because it’s only 45 minutes from “home” and we heard the little town was morphing into something special.

We stopped right in the center of town to begin our visit at the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.  Taking in the regular storefront facade.  I was thinking, “Ah well.  Just another ho-hum artsy craftsy place. But let’s take a look.”

What surprises were inside!

Quilt at Art Cntr

Handmade Honeysuckle Basket Centerpiece

Handmade Honeysuckle Centerpiece Really Made of Honeysuckle!

Art Cntr Display

Look! Look! Look!

After talking to the friendly volunteers in the Arts Center and marvelling at all the locally made treasures, we realized there was not enough time.  Clifton Forge is becoming a true art center.

First there is exciting rennovation going on at the Masonic Theatre (just down the street from the artsy craftsy place).  Work is in progress to create the most modern facility for theater, music, and community events.  There was mention of a sophisticated Art School too which is already populated with students from around the world..

And we noticed enticing shops – like a grand looking antique store and a hardware store that is supposed to be fabulous.  Now I know “fabulous” is a strange word for a hardware store but we were told not to miss it.  This particular place is so unique it even has a section devoted exclusively to WOMEN!

And of course, Clifton Forge was once a booming railroad town for over 100 years until the 1960’s.   I have to return there to visit the Railroad Museum where visitors can go through a 1940’s vintage train!

There are several restaurants, including Michel’s of authentic French cuisine, and the Club Car (where we had lunch) featuring the freshest of fresh everything.  I have to go back just to try the restaurants!

The sad thing is we simply did not have enough time to cover the charming town of Clifton Forge.

And as I put together this blog post, I realize there is not enough time to tell you all about it either because if we had just two more hours we would still be in the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center browsing buying.PinWheel Quilt Art Cntr

Horse Eye View

 

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Pond Fountain 2

You bird lovers out there probably already knew the answer to the question in yesterday’s post about  Ridgely Historic Gardens. 

That ghostly hanging thing was a clump of sheep’s wool!Wool for Birds'NestsBest

Songbirds love this well-insulating, all-weather fiber that’s ideal for their nests and there for the pickin’!

Ridgely Gardens is a historic two-acre mountainside property overlooking the town of Clifton Forge in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia.  This week my friend, Norma, and I had a private tour with Donald Roberts, the current owner and gardener!

View from gardenThe Roberts believe gardens are to be shared and welcome visitors, including groups, garden clubs, and folks like Norma and me, who are just curious.

These beautiful gardens were first started in 1902, professionally landscaped in 1932, and now the original detailed plans and blueprints are on display.Aerial of upper pond--2012

Donald Roberts Owner

Donald Roberts – Ridgely Historic Gardens

Mr. Roberts cleared, managed, maintained and stuck closely to the original plans and plantings which included a boxwood maze, a large variety of heirloom plants and extensive Depression era stonework.  Fishponds, fountains, a stone pagoda, a greenhouse, a sunken stone hothouse, and a gardener’s cabin are other features of this remarkable place.

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Wool for Birds'NestsBest

This week my friend Norma and I were privileged to be taken on a private tour of Ridgely Historic Gardens, an amazing walk backward in time through a mountainside property in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia.

There was a slightly ominous, ghostly apparation hanging in the garden that prompted my first question.  “What is THAT?” I asked and was surprised and delighted at the answer.

Can YOU guess what that is?

Answer to come in my next post about Ridgely Gardens and the fascinating little town of Clifton Forge.

 

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