Cooking with Barbara Tenney at KaTom

Renowned East Tennessee cook, Barbara Tenney, presented a menu at KaTom Wednesday evening. I have seen at least 10 of her presentations so I couldn’t wait to see her at KaTom. Here is how our cooking event went at KaTom.

It is fun to walk in and find your place at a table. I had a great seat.

Tables were set in a simple, elegant display. You get a copy of each recipe too.

A friend, Sophia Connerly, joined me for this presentation. Also at our table were a mother and daughter from Morristown, a professor from U.T., and a personal chef/ chef from the Lonesome Dove restaurant in Knoxville.

Notice the home- made treats from Barbara at each place setting. Cookies and a sweet mix. Divine!

The menu featured chicken and dumplings and pot roast with a Barbara Tenney flair!

I am one of her devoted fans. Barbara Tenney, the legend, is pictured on the right. Love her style too.

Get there early so you can shop!

Every seat has a great view.

Chicken breasts cooked to perfection. Broth to cook the dumplings.

Dumplings measured to perfection by a scoop.

Par excellence!

It was wonderfull!

View from the overhead screen.

And the pot roast extraordinaire. I took leftovers for lunch the next day.

We can’t wait to see Barbara Tenney again out and about in Sevierville.

See more pictures on my blog Facebook page.

Shopping at Bloomingtails Boutique in downtown Sevierville


After reading a recent article in the Mountain Press,  I decided to check out the new space for Bloomingtails Boutique, a thrift store that supports Pets Without Parents animal shelter. It is located on the Parkway in Sevierville, across the street from the Sevierville Heritage Museum and Bruce Street. I went Saturday morning and was happy with what I found there. Here is how it went.



The space is located adjacent to back parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Sevierville. I was impressed with so much parking and easy access to the back door, as seen in the picture above. Lots of parking! Looks very handicapped accessible.


To my delight, I walked in to see two volunteers that I know: Dennis and Becky Chambers. They were organizing merchandise and greeting shoppers. They gave me a great tour and told me more information about the thrift boutique. The Chambers also introduced me to Maddie, the cat.


My personal shopper, Maddie!

Of course, dishes and glassware are where I like to shop first. Here were some good things on the shelves.


A beautiful glass pineapple  serving platter.


Loved these smaller salad/dessert plates!


They had several Duraclear items. I look for Duraclear glassware at Williams Sonoma stores because it looks like glass, but it is a clear, light plastic kind of material. You can find some here at Bloomingtails for a deal.


Maddie likes this large Margarita  glass, only $2.


Some nice jewelry, one of their best selling items according to the Chambers. I will go back in a week to look at the turquoise. I hope it is still there!


I found a small microwave and refrigerator. That is the perfect size for dorm rooms or assisted living places. You better get there soon because the store has only one each.


The new location allows Bloomingtails so much more space than before. Proceeds pay for animal care, not only shelter, but food, medicine, medical treatment, and spaying and neutering to decrease pet over population.


A juicer only used one time!



Nostalgic items.


Free pet food for those who need it. Simply walk in and ask. Share this detail with anyone who may need help feeding their pets. They are ready to help pet owners who are having a hard time making ends meet.


This Indian thing may be a car hood ornament or go on a motorcycle. It has a light and a small cable inside. Only $2 ! It was cool. Would it look good on a Toyota RAV-4 ?


This view is from the Sevier County Heritage Center across the street. You can see Bloomingtails with the large window visible under the tree.  There is a front door, but parking in the back makes the back door the prime place to enter the store.

Pets Without Parents operates Bloomingtails to benefit the animal shelter. I was impressed with the merchandise and organization therein. If you would like to donate household items, jewelry, books, pictures, children’s items, and more, then drop by and talk with their volunteers from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Say hello to Maddie the cat when you visit!


I like this place and will frequent it often. The manager, Karen,  is from Australia so you can have a nice chat when you visit Bloomingtails in Sevierville. This is a store that deserves your attention when you go out and about in Sevierville. See you there!

To see more pictures, and to shop at home, click my Facebook page for blog photos. Here is the link.


Amazing Art Studio in the Smokies!


Lately, there is fun trend: painting with friends for a relaxing hour or two. As a blogger, I need to learn Photoshop and digital photography skills. Amazingly, there are some studios in our county where you can do these activities. In fact, I found a studio where you can do both, and more! This is the first art studio that I have visited and it impressed me. Here is what I found at the Art Studio of the Smokies. 
I took the back roads to the Glades, where it intersects with Highway 321 in Gatlinburg. At the traffic light, you barely turn right then you will see Buie’s Landing on the left, location of the Art Studio of the Smokies. This studio is owned by Camille Barton Spires, an artist from Augusta, Georgia. Camille has 20 years of teaching experience and is a certified art and graphics instructor. She relocated to Gatlinburg to realize her dream to open her own art studio one and a half years ago.   
The address for the studio is
 1360 East Parkway, Suite 6, Buies’ Landing,
 Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738. 

Here is a link to her website.


It is quite an attractive doorway, as you would imagine. So pretty!


I admired the comfortable sunroom like waiting area by the front door.


This is the view from one of the sofas. I can imagine that parents would be happy here waiting for children to finish their classes/projects.

Camille is pictured below on the right. I took this photo at a  Sevierville Commons Arts Council Art Happening last summer. You can make some helpful contacts at those Art Happenings gatherings and learn some helpful skills! Plus, the people are really super nice.


When I arrived, Camille told me that WBIR Channel 10 had just contacted her to ask permission to film her studio for a segment on Live At Five At Four. I was alternately excited for her and chagrined that I had worn an older sweater in case I was to be filmed. Lesson learned—always dress nicer than you think. It was exciting to know that the station was sending a reporter nonetheless!


The painting room set-up is excellent. You can see the natural lighting from the big windows and the aisle from which the instructor can stroll and coach students with their creations.

Camille says, “I love teaching art lessons so that people grow confident and develop their own approach and love of art….both locals as well as vacations and school breaks when people can relax and explore new ways to get creative and have some ‘me time’.” She says that the ratio seems to be about 80% locals who visit her studio.


Look at all the art fun that you can have with friends!
Art parties, art camps, ‘paint and sip’ get-togethers. theme parties, birthday parties, showers, etc.
Art classes work especially well  in groups. Individual instruction may also be scheduled.



An art teacher’s dream setup for materials!

Camille says, “Couples painting is a big hit with dual canvases that go together…for anniversaries and honeymoon memories….and Valentine’s is coming up! Also, personalized paint parties with friends or family painting is a great indoor activity for the winter months. In addition, birthday parties and painting certificates as birthday gifts are growing in popularity.” It is the perfect winter activity.


Here is a student project in progress. I like the projection on the screen to enhance instruction.

Here are a few student projects.



The computer lab is upstairs. I was amazed at what I found.


I was expecting 2 or 3 computers, but this lab can accommodate 8-12 people at a time. This is quite impressive!


The desktops have a perfect view of the screen which was projecting a slideshow of student projects. We sat down for about an hour comparing Photoshop to Lightroom and which may best suit my needs. Camille guided me through some basic Photoshop points, creating messages and watermarks on pictures. I can’t wait to go back and learn more.

The reporter from WBIR-TV 10 arrived on time and taped quietly in the back of the room during my lesson. It was warm enough upstairs that I changed from the old sweater to my long sleeve black T-shirt. You can only see part of my face in the last seconds of the video shown today so all was well! Click this link to see the WBIR TV segment today on Camille Barton Spires and her Art Studio in the Smokies. The segment is only a couple of minutes, but gives you a good overview of her studio. It is fabulous!


Here are some things that you can learn in the computer lab.

  • Digital and computer based instruction in photography and Photoshop
  • Illustration and graphics
  • Compositions and layout techniques
  • Portfolio development

These are listed on the brochure for live sound and digital recording

  • basics for running live sound
  • beginning classes for digital recording
  • instruction on analog and digital consoles

This is an outstanding studio in which to learn, create, and enjoy your time. Call to find an open appointment with Camille. I highly recommend a visit soon.

To see these pictures and more, go to my blog Facebook page for pictures only. Click this link to go there now.

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