Keystone Camp and officially fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachia. Two summers ago I attended the Ladies of Letterpress Conference in Asheville and became aware of the vibrant artisan and craft community, in the sense that it really resonated with me. For the first time I thought, "I really could live here." After completing the entire Appalachian Trail last summer, I knew in my heart that I belonged in Appalachia.
Through a college friend, I was grandfathered into an amazing converted carriage house on 44 acres of land, but still close to downtown and Historic West Asheville. I have a nook upstairs that I've made into a small design studio and a nook downstairs that is slowly becoming a functioning letterpress studio. My dad and boyfriend built me a sturdy table for my Chandler & Price tabletop press. I finally printed on it for the first time two weeks ago, which was wonderful. Nothing like cranking the radio, drinking a beer, and printing at home.
I love the life I've created here, slowing down immensely from my fast-paced life in New York City and my wonderful year of adventures. I sit on my porch in the evenings reading or just watching the wildlife. My neighbor sightings so far include hawks, fox, deer, millions of bunnies, a turkey - who now has a family(!), opossoms, and countless birds. I see all kinds of wildflowers, of whose names I'm eager to learn. Wild blackberry brambles are everywhere, thick with small red berries - I can't wait until they are ripe. Mountain Laurel, Sassafras, Tulip Poplar, and Oak are some of my favorite trees, all within a stone's throw.
|Evening hike on the land|
|Wild Sweet Pea|
|Y'all, I LOVE bunnies! These guys make me so happy!|
|Turkey family (a rafter of turkeys)|
My design and letterpress business is going well. I've done several wedding invitations suites - I will share some photos soon. Last weekend, I participated in Asheville's favorite summer craft fair - the Big Crafty. So many great vendors were there, it was so inspiring to walk around and see all the beautiful, creative products.
I was so excited to debut some new summer greeting cards. These, as well as the old favorites, are for sale on my Etsy site. Two new local shops carry my cards - Baggie Goose in Biltmore Village, and The Shop at Kanuga at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville. The Coffee Fox in Savannah and Sewn to the Sky in Chattanooga also continue to carry my cards in the southeast.
Well gentle readers, I hope you have enjoyed this long-over due update. I leave you with a photo that was taken this evening. This afternoon I bought some plants on clearance at Lowes as well as some new terra cotta pots to add to my growing (pun intended!) back porch container garden. My thumb slowly is turning green, as my grass gets bluer here in these hills :)
|Back row, left to right: Sweet Potato vine, Basil, Tomato, |
Next row: Friendship Plant, Mint, Marigolds,
Next: remedial Thyme (it froze in an unexpected snowstorm in late March), Zinnia,
Last: remedial Mint in the olive oil tin
My heart was right - I do belong here in Appalachia.