Ink Art Gallery

O how I miss art studios, art galleries, art museums, and monthly art walks. COVID-19 drove everyone indoors and our social society had to find other ways to enjoy the arts. With America slowly opening back up again, we can finally (and safely) return to the places we love, like, art galleries.

My insanity jumped out of the window after days of being indoors. My iPhone recorded me spending more time on Pinterest than any other social media app. I couldn’t help myself. All I wanted to do every single day was make something from scratch. I developed an interest in building Fairy Gardens, creating vintage postcards from scratch,  pastel coloring, and even making soap. Now I’m trying to take on mixed media art journaling. I’m BORED, sue me!

I snuck out of the house to Fernandina for a taste of outdoors and window shopping. It felt good to be a couple miles in one direction from Fernandina Beach and a couple of miles in the other direction from the Fernandina Marina. A lot of the stores (and restaurants) were closed, but the art studios were open. Thank God! I usually go to Art on Centre, they display some of the best local art. Expensive, but well worth the price. I make sure to bring my Nikon on days when I visit.

This time though ,I fell upon Ink Art Gallery. It is a small studio with a few local artists who create and sell their works right on the main street. Along with selling watercolor and oil paintings, the gallery also takes part in selling items created by other locals. For example, they sell soaps, clay jewelry, bracelets, stones, sage, photography prints, candles, and other things all made by other creatives in the area.

IMG_8383IMG_8380IMG_8381

My favorite part is the boho-themed atmosphere. The colorful carpets, wooden chairs, the hanging greenhouse plants, bean-bag chairs, and the magnificent floral-garland wall. Of course, it’s something you would definitely see on Pinterest. I don’t know how I missed that.

IMG_8374

IMG_8377

I didn’t spend much time in the studio because I was running out of time to get a jump on beating traffic to get home. I can’t wait to revisit the gallery to take more photos of their beautiful workspace. Hopefully, COVID-19 will move on to another planet so that I can get back to immerse myself in the world of art once again.

Antique Shops: Overpricing History

When I was younger, I was like most teens thinking that shopping in thrift stores was lame and for “poor folks.” My mother took me to my first one, and good God did I get hooked. I found things in there that I could never find on the shelves of stores in the mall. You can imagine what life became like for me when I visited my first antique shop. My first real antique shop was in North Georgia, headed to Talulah Gorge State Park. I spent nearly $100 in there. It was heaven on earth to be surrounded by artifacts of history. It didn’t take long for my love of antique shops to stop short. That pissed me off.

IMG_2564

IMG_2561

On my second visit to North Georgia, I tried to find the same antique shop I had found the first time. The prices were high for the items in the store. You could imagine my surprise when I found out that the store was shut down. The new owner of the store had bought the old inventory and jacked the prices sky-high. So now, instead of paying seventy-five cents per vintage postcard, I was kicking out nearly three dollars for each. What the hell? That’s a 300% increase in price!

I paid attention to other antique shops I visited and noticed the same ridiculous pricing. I understand that because an item is no longer in production or hasn’t been in production for years, but to slap an outrageous price on an item assuming that someone will pay any price for it is terrible business. The worst part is, most of the inventory in these shops aren’t antiques. They’re just items that maybe didn’t sell well through a company, for example, a tall lamp pole covered in different seashells (the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen). And for the love of God, if I see one more massive collection of Coke Cola glass bottles…

IMG_2563

IMG_2562

My visit today at a rather famous antique shop in North Florida nearly made me want to start a strike. The items were beyond overpriced. They wanted five dollars for vintage postcards, twenty dollars for supposed “Free-Trade African Seaglass” beaded necklaces, and $210 for a large wooden sailboat. Like, are you kidding me?

I love antiques with a passion because they tell the story of a time I never got to live through. Not only that, but they showcase the evolution of art and design. To be simply put, it’s history! These antique store clerks are the gatekeepers to new generations, discovering another time through these artifacts. It would only be fair if they priced each item by their value and not because they want to overprice because it sits merely inside of an antique shop.

IMG_2566

 

Small Biz Saturday: Pelindaba Lavender

About a month ago I visited downtown Fernandina for the first time in a couple of years. I was in the mood for traveling and remembered the small area the last time I went with my mother. Everything there seemed the same with the old-fashioned buildings and the small town look. A lot of new shops were there that I hadn’t seen before and it did seem like the area expanded some, but it was still dainty and attractive.

Walking down the crowded sidewalk, I came across a small store called Pelindaba Lavender. The decor outside were painted purple including a pumpkin. Since Lavender is my favorite scent in all the world, I had to see what this was about. Before I hit the door, the smell of fresh lavender hit me like a freight train. I walked into the tiny store and was greeted by a large painting of a field of wild lavender growing. Along the rest of the walls that made up the shop were products all made with lavender. Everything from bed sheets sprays, to soap, to lip care, to culinary ingredients. Anything you could think of that could be infused with Lavender oils they have it.

DSCN2060

DSCN2061

DSCN2062

After buying a body mist, chapstick and body wash, I vowed I’d be back for Small Business Saturday to take pics for my travel blog. Today was that day. I dressed up in my shades of lavender and purple and drove the fifty-four-minute drive to Fernandina. Heather, the woman who I had met a few weeks before, was still there and recognized me instantly. Her co-worker Pam I met for the first time. They were charming and really knew their stuff about Lavender as they conversed with other customers. I finally I got my photo in with the two ladies and purchased lip balm and a local artists’ photo of a wild lavender field in front of a country home.

DSCN2063

DSCN2064

I’ve always loved participating in Small Business Saturday because for one day it gives a spotlight to all the mom and pop shops who are often in heavy competition with major corporation companies. I believe that this event is successful because it gives these shops a chance to create relationships with customers who would most likely come back for the unique products that these shops offer. Pelindaba Lavender is the perfect example of that. You’ll get the real deal in every single product you buy. If you go into one of these major retail stores looking for “real” lavender, you’ll run into some watered down product with probably less than 1% of any trace of real lavender. That brings me back to the point of shopping small business. They invest in the real deal whether it’s antiques, real cotton clothing, or like Pelindaba, real lavender, something you can’t find anywhere else.

DSCN1867

DSCN1868

DSCN1869

I encourage anyone and everyone to participate in Small Business Saturday. Show your support. Fill out surveys, participate in raffles, write articles, draw pictures, whatever! Your support is the one thing helping these treasures to stay in business.

Pelindaba Lavender is my one-stop shop for anything lavender scented because it is worth it!

DSCN2064

Visit their social media pages: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

pelindaba
Starting left: Pam, Me, Heather

Art Walk in Amelia

Tonight was a shining night for the small city of Fernandina, Amelia Island area. Tonight downtown hosted their Art Walk where museums and artist homes opened their doors to the public and allowed us into their work and their world. The styles ranged everywhere from impressions to abstract to wood work to glass and mixed media paintings. As you went around, you got to meet the actual artist and even drank wine with cookies. How sweet is that?

DSCN1935

DSCN1931

DSCN1913

DSCN1902

DSCN1905

I visited large office home building and two actual art museums. The work was fantastic. Each piece stealing pieces of your soul and replacing it with curiosity and wonder. By the time you’re done viewing the pieces, you’re ready to head to JoAnn and pick up your own painting set. Granted some of the prices on the work seem a bit much especially on simple landscape paintings. Who hasn’t painted a picture of a beach before? But you have to give them a thumbs up for their artistry and originality.

DSCN1933

DSCN1925

DSCN1908

DSCN1910

DSCN1898

DSCN1895

After a browse through the world of art, citizens departed into the nightlife of Fernandina which consisted of late night conversations over fancy dining and romantic (or drunken) strolls down main street past all the old time buildings and shops.