Sunday, April 11, 2010

An April Ramble

Yesterday I took off to explore. I headed out to Hampton to Queens Way. This shopping/restaurant area consists of small shops all in a row with brick sidewalks and housed in old buildings. Great ambience. I wish there were more stores to peruse because the ones that are there are great! I started off in a cottage store called Shabby Chic (47 E Queens Way). Wonderful paint flaked windows, sea glass, and all other sorts of old stuff. They have these wonderful mermaids cut from old wood then embellished with sea glass and sea shells. One of those would look so nice in my new bathroom!

At the back of the store you walk through an open area and up some stairs and find yourself in another store, Modernlux. Great retro stuff! Loved the kitschy zippered pouches and shopping bags. A bonus for the green me, they are made from 90% reclaimed materials. If you are lookinig for something mid-century this store is the place to hit. You can become a fan/friend on their Facebook page, Modernlux Hampton.

My next stop was Something Different (19 E Queens Way). Great combination of architectural elements, signs, and garden items interspersed with antiques. I saw several architectural elements I would have loved to hang in my studio. I'll be back for another visit once I get my studio reorganized and figure out what to do with my walls that aren't being used for storage!

Just walking through this area on a beautiful Spring day was a joy. I cut through to W. Queens Way, passing by one of the best tea rooms in the area, The Grey Goose. The menu offers a lot of variety. For those of you not vegetarian, this is one of the places you can get a bowl of Brunswick Stew and Virginia Ham biscuits...two VA treats. Not only great food, but they offer music and dinner theater events which they have dubbed Dinnertainment. One of my favorite director/actors Roxanne Whitmore Kohlman performs at the Grey Goose. By eating here you would also support 3/50 Projects "Eat down the street" initative! (More on this later.)

As I looped back around to my car I meandered through the Blue Skies Gallery. This art gallery contains work from many local artists all for sale. A couple of my favorite picks: The pottery by David Fletcher which is fired in an actual open flame fire instead of a kiln. The markings on the pieces are gorgeous. The assemblage art by Susan Bastinelli. I'm usually not an assemblage fan, due to the fact it often frightens me in a Sid Phillips tortured toys sort of way. However, the piece she has at the Blue Sky Galleries is great. Normal everyday objects and a clock casing used to create a quirky and fun face with a tuft of broom hair. And of course all of the jewelry! I love art jewelry and have gotten to the point where that's about all I wear anymore. I could have dropped big dollars on jewelry here but I was really trying to be good!

Speaking of spending money, if you aren't aware of the 3/50 project click on the link to the right on my blog and find out more. In a nutshell it's about spending your money locally to save the small privately owned business in your community. You pick three and spend a total of $50 dollars each month. Something you might not know is that for every $100 dollars spent at locally owned independent stores $68 stays in the community through taxes, wages and other expenditures. If you spend it at a national chain only $43 stays here. They have created another promotion on their site called "Eat down the street." It's the same kind of concept only it involves eating once a week at one of the local, privately owned restaurants instead of a big chain restaurants. One of my favorite locally owned restaurants is Papou George's. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun. If you go get the homemade potato chips! So, if you are planning to spend the day shopping and maybe stop for a bite to our local businesses!

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