The Gift Gallery

What a fun week-end at The Gift Gallery in Tappahannock, VA!  My Sister’s Beads presented the Fall 2010 new designs in a trunk show sponsored by The Gift Gallery.  Along with the trunk show, they sponsored art classes, demos, sales and special prizes.   On Friday evening, I joined my sister in her painting class and actually painted a great mug that coordinates with my jewelry business cards.  Lois, another participant, painted a really cool mug with lots of colorful sea creatures, a fish, an octopus, starfish, coral, etc.  Although, I liked my mug, I’m not anywhere ready to start painting on glass for real!

On Saturday morning there were six participants in the Kumihimo class.  After a brief history of Kumihimo weaving, the girls attempted to untangle the cords in their kits, measure them out and begin warping their looms. Once the looms were set, it was easy sailing and everyone finished the class with a black kumihimo cord adorned with a black and silver pendant.  The cords could be used with any of the various additional slides found in the eclectic selection offered by The Gift Gallery.  The class was repeated again in the afternoon.  The cords were quite a hit and it looks like we’ll be sending more looms and making some cords to sell along with the other store slides.

The trunk show featured my latest designs, which were coordinated with the Pantone Fall 2010 fashion color chart.  The selections ranged from simple pendants on chain to big, bold, funky necklaces designed to make you stop and look. I’ve included a slide show at end of post to show a few of the items, now available through the Gift Gallery.

In between Kumihimo classes and munching on the Java Jack brownies, I had a little time to shop.  The Gift Gallery is such a unique store full of items from all over the world, but most impressive, was the hand painted glassware by Lois Lavery, who with her husband, David, own the store.  She paints an entire line of glassware, from wine glasses to vases and will even personalize at the buyers request.  There are lots of items for children as well, and my favorite is the traveling toy box, personalized with the child’s name and tractors, puppies, flowers, or whatever you want.
It was a good feeling to shop, guilt free, at The Gift Gallery.  They carry a huge selection of Fair Trade products and purchasing any of these items gives back to the communities where the items were made, whether it was the grass handbags and baskets from Cambodia, the Nepal Earth Diva or Sari Silk handbags, the recycled Cambodian rice totes, the recycled sterling silver Carousel beads on hand wrapped silver bracelets, or Ellie Pooh stationery. It felt good purchasing items and knowing you were helping to improve conditions for women, artisans and farmers worldwide.

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