Music in Common

Last Friday night, I learned that I need to keep a portable chair in the back of my car in case I need it. What prompted that discovery? I found Music in Common by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council last Friday night and hope to go again very soon.

IMG_0729.PNG

The weather was warm and comfortable so it was a pleasure to drop by and hear some music at the downtown Sevierville  gazebo.

IMG_0699Boogertown Gap performed on October 6th.

 

Listeners were treated to music that brought back times from early settlers in the Smoky Mountains.

IMG_0709

 

IMG_0708

 

IMG_0719

 

IMG_0722

I saw people drive by in their cars and slow down to a stop to hear the pretty music coming from the gazebo. It was rather enchanting.

IMG_0721

It is kind of special when you can attend an event downtown on a warm evening. There will be three more Friday performances this month so drop by, relax, and enjoy the music. And consider carrying a chair in the back of your car…

See you out and about in Sevierville. 

 

 

Sevierville Commons Art Crawl 2017

FullSizeRender 89

It was a warm, glorious evening at the Sevierville Commons Art Crawl last week. It is the primary fundraising event so we look forward to it all year. With a wood-working art theme, the event was like a relaxing stroll with food and drink. Stroll along here with us to see what we enjoyed during the Art Crawl 2017.

FullSizeRender 43

This was our first sight on Bruce Street. XXX Moonshine has two locations: Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley. They have a great tent and their vendors are fun to talk to. In addition, Tennessee XXX Moonshine has collaborated with Dark Horse comics, creator of the Hellboy character in print and movies, to produce Hell Boy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey. To find out more, click the link below. Amazing things happening with this local distillery.

https://www.send2press.com/wire/hellboy-hell-water-selects-xxx-distillery-llc-of-sevierville-and-pigeon-forge-tennessee/

FullSizeRender 59

Around the corner, we found delights from one of our favorite downtown restaurants: Bistro 109. Owner, Dustin Manning, brought our favorite items on the menu: orange-cranberry chicken salad, hummus with cucumber slices, and sweet potato fries. The table presentation is always beautiful.  We came back for dinner here later. Divine!

FullSizeRender 46

Stefanie Johnson greeted us at the main table and helped us to get acclimated to the event.  We bought our tickets in advance at Citizens National Bank. (I got mine at the Kroger branch because they are open until 7:00 p.m.) After giving her the tickets and showing ID, we received wrist bands and began the evening.

FullSizeRender 38

Next, we ran into Sevierville Commons Arts Council member, Andrea Wilson. I was delighted to see her in this top because we were both wearing Cabi! She knew that and gave me quite a surprise. Fun!

Friday’s restaurant had a nice  treat. I think that it was Jack Daniels chicken. The servings were generous. We also got a coupon for a free appetizer. Good deal!

FullSizeRender 44

Sara serves treats from Courthouse Donuts. Get ready for some new things on the menu there!

Mom’s Vintage Kitchen offered her home-made pumpernickel bread and pimento cheese with a home-made puff. It was probably the best bread and pimento cheese that I have ever had. There were about 5 different kinds of cheeses in that pimento cheese. Oh my!

FullSizeRender 61

Art Crawl attendees enjoying the evening as the sun went down.

FullSizeRender 47

We are always glad to see Healthy Balance at local events because we know that they will bring something good for the body. Skewers with tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese were a great appetizer.

FullSizeRender 53

David Elrod’s friendly smile always attracts attendees to his tent. His presentation and products always contribute to an enjoyable experience.

Old Forge brought several treats. It is apple time!

FullSizeRender 76

Karen and I inspected the beautiful workmanship in the bowls. They were so smooth and lovely. Woodworking artists Roger Jessup, Ralph Obenauf, Otto Preske, and Jackie and Janis Proffitt were available to answer questions about the items and the craft.

FullSizeRender 70

Old Forge Distillery entertains and refreshes.

We were most impressed with the woodworking items from the Sevierville Senior Center.

FullSizeRender 82

Our favorite item was this piece of wood with a photograph transposed on it. I would love to learn to do this technique. What a magnificent keepsake. The sunset is reflected in it.

FullSizeRender 83

The Shantons enjoy sunset on Bruce Street during the Art Crawl.

FullSizeRender 74

Sugarlands Distillery always brings delightful refreshment to local events. Indeed, it is always a crowd pleaser.

FullSizeRender 85

I was delighted to run into my  Dominican Republic travel friends, the Conerly family. They enjoyed the evening as the sun set on Bruce Street. Sophia is a member of the Sevierville Commons Association and always has exciting updates to share about the revitalization of downtown Sevierville. Stay tuned!

FullSizeRender 63

I wanted to linger at Charlotte Wear’s gallery, Charlotte’s Bruce Street Creative,  but time was limited so I grabbed some fliers with info about her October activities. Can’t wait to go there and create something wonderful next month!

FullSizeRender 62

Old Smoky Moonshine brought a nice punch type of drink. They were friendly and ready to help us have a nice evening.

FullSizeRender 67

I always enjoy the music and ‘vibe’ provided by musician Ross Paul Heatherly.  Ask him to play some Hendrix and you won’t be sorry!

FullSizeRender 69

Austin Williams and Stefanie Johnson thanked vendors and attendees for supporting the 2017 Art Crawl. In addition, they drew the name for a winner of the art door prize. It was one of the beautiful bowls that Karen and I had admired earlier in the evening.

FullSizeRender 86

Shadows are falling as the sun sets on Bruce Street. Jim McGill sits at the table ready to help attendees.

FullSizeRender 75

The Pottery House Cafe is our favorite place in Pigeon Forge. Shrimp and grits, anyone? Oh, yes!

FullSizeRender 64

Karen found water and tea located at the gazebo. Such a pretty place in the evening.

FullSizeRender 78

It was so nice to have more time at the Art Crawl this year. Rather than 8:00, the event ended at 8:30 this year. It was so nice to relax while watching the sun go down on the courthouse bell tower. Kudos to the Sevierville Commons Association and the Sevierville Commons Arts Council for an enjoyable September event. We can’t wait for the next one!

Plan on attending the Art Crawl next year. It is one of my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

What is going on in Sevierville during Labor Day weekend 2017

Someone used search terms  ” what to do in Sevierville on Labor Day weekend” on my website so I decided to list a few things that I know are going on this weekend. Blog traffic picks up on holidays so here are some suggestions for our visitors this weekend. Most activities are in Sevierville, but a couple are nearby. I used some screenshots to get this blog completed quickly. Here are some local Labor Day activities. 


Check out the Sevierville Commons Farmers Market tomorrow. There will be great vendors with many gift ideas and fresh produce. I have been doing some Christmas shopping there already. 


For the first time, our fair will last nine days and two weekends. This is a wonderful small town fair with food and fun for the whole family. The best food from the booth by Sevierville First United Methodist Church. Step right up! 

Do you like Jeeps? Then this may be for you! 


Something new is opening in Gatlinburg and it looks like fun. 


Labor Day weekend means BBQ. Find some at Bass Pro Shops. 


Bring your lawn chair and snacks to the Sevierville downtown gazebo for a free movie. I love the 80s! 


This may be the greatest thing in town this weekend. Go to the Dollywood website for tickets and more information. 


Go just up the road to enjoy this equestrian event. 


I think that my friend Tad Wynn may attend this event. It is just up Chapman Highway from downtown Sevierville. 


Art is downtown Sevierville. Check out several artist gallerys. This is one of my favorites! 


Find a bargain at Bloomingtales Boutique at 202 Parkway in Sevierville. Proceeds go to to Pets Without Parents, a local no-kill animal shelter. 

Also, find more treasures at Treasures From the Heart thrift store at 230 Court Avenue, Sevierville. 


We have one of the best boutiques in Tennessee. Congratulations to Loralei’s! Find it easily at 1235 Dolly Parton Parkway, Suite 7, Sevierville, Tennessee. 


We also have the best doughnuts in East Tennessee. Go to Courthouse Donuts in downtown Sevierville, across from the courthouse. 

Those are some fun things going on this Labor Day weekend if you get out and about in Sevierville. 

Enjoy the weekend! 

Sevierville Commons Arts Council Launches ‘Blast Off’ Event

19693597_376427846093209_7058123243321069825_o

There was a big crowd on Bruce Street this evening attending the Blast Off event for the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. People from all parts of the county came to support the arts in downtown Sevierville. There were refreshments, music, auction items, and demonstrations galore. Follow along as I take you on a tour of the event. It was the hottest ticket in town this evening!

IMG_6743 2

First of all, I know it will be a fun time when I see Bruce Street blocked off!

IMG_6744

It is fun to walk right down the middle of the street. But I wasn’t thinking and took the sidewalk instead. Oh well…

IMG_6745

We were greeted at the door by Pat. He showed us where to check in and it went quickly.

IMG_6753

There was a line out the door when I arrived so I sat on a bench outside and waited for Melinda. The line went through quite quickly as we entered the door. Above, Andrea Wilson and other volunteers process guest arrivals.

IMG_6754

There was rain approaching so I liked how the dinner part was to be conducted, rather than have it out near the gazebo with downpours on the way. We drew a voucher from a bowl to determine the location of our dinner. The draw was Mom’s Vintage Kitchen. We love all those places listed above and were happy to go to Mom’s later. What a great idea for a dinner lottery. Fun!

IMG_6751

IMG_6755

Artist, David Freeman, was drawing profiles as we entered the door. I saw him do one on TV this week as a promotion for the event. A fun addition to the festivities.

IMG_6761

Attendees pictured left to right: Michael Johnson, Sevier Commons member Austin Williams, and Katie Williams.

IMG_6769

I expected a lot of art items for the silent auction and was not disappointed! Melinda told me that this artist is often featured at Arrowmont.

IMG_6783

Al Schmutzer and Jim McGill attending the Blast Off for the Sevier Commons Arts Council.

IMG_6771

Local artist, Charlotte Wear, pictured with friends Jayne Wise, Sonya Nave, and another local artist, Mary Phillips.

IMG_6801

A popular silent auction item. The cups were beautiful and the Old Mill coffee is probably great. I am having auction regrets for not bidding on this, but I had to set a limit of 2 items.

IMG_6787

Cheri Schmutzer and Leesa McGill enjoying the evening in the new Arts in Common Gallery on Bruce Street.

IMG_6764

The Johnson family introduces a future art lover to the event. Pictured left to right are Stefanie, Sheena, and Alex Johnson with a sweet little attendee.

IMG_6794

I was glad to see Chris Webb with his wife, Summer. I know Chris’ mom, Patt Webb, and send her greetings!

IMG_6776

Gail Monson, Ken Greene, and Jill Greene enjoying the Blast Off event to benefit the Sevierville Commons Art Council. Proceeds from this event will help to purchase things needed for the gallery. Furthermore, the event will help us learn more about the new art space downtown.

IMG_6750

Melinda Derrick and I were happy to see our friend, Joey Rose, pictured right. The space to his right in the picture above would be for his wife, Sheley, who was a little under the weather and couldn’t attend. I saved the space to his right for her. (Hi, Sheley!) Joey and Sheley are old friends of ours and support the local arts scene, as does Melinda.

IMG_6792

Attendees pictured left to right: Justin Duncan, Jennifer Duncan, and Andrew Temple.

This silent auction item was quite interesting. I don’t need many things so ‘experiences’ are very interesting.

IMG_6802

Crystal Sharp takes a moment to speak to the group and make announcements. There were over 159 attendees while I was there and over 62 items were donated for the silent auction. I bid on two. Will I get them? Stay tuned!

IMG_6798

The music was excellent! Musicians Greg Fitch and Pat Corn were wonderful and added to the ambiance during the evening.

IMG_6806

I remember when there was only 1 restaurant downtown. Now, we have so many more. Many thanks to these restaurants who added to a successful event.

IMG_6805

Love the creative way to thank sponsors. So nice!

IMG_6777

Jennifer Dyer, from Courthouse Donuts, looking at vintage pictures. We think that the upper right picture is the current location of  her business. By the way, Courthouse Donuts just won third place for the best donuts in the state, the only one on the survey located in East Tennessee.

I was intrigued by the ‘fairy doors’ on a table by the Sevierville Senior Center. Very interesting creations! Google it or go to Pinterest to see more ideas.

IMG_6807

As we left, there was more art and even demonstrations outside.

IMG_6811

I love the food voucher drawing idea. We proceeded to Mom’s Vintage Kitchen for tomato basil soup and chicken salad sandwiches. So good!

IMG_6813

Storms were headed our way so we hurried to our cars. The courthouse is pictured above under stormy skies.

The Sevierville Commons Arts Council is thinking of having this event every year to raise money for their Arts in Common Gallery and programming. I had a great time and will go every year. Consider going too if you couldn’t make it this year. The Blast Off event was a great way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

See you on Bruce Street!

Art Happening: July 13, 2017

IMG_5285

A friend and I attended the July 2017 Art Happening downtown, featuring artist Susan Edwards. This art was truly special and I wanted to collect it all!  Take a look at what we saw at the Sevierville Commons Art Council July Art Happening.

IMG_5310

The board of the Sevierville Commons Arts Council with featured artist, Susan Freeman. Pictured left to right: Laurel Kiewitt, Crystal Lynn Sharp, Susan Edwards, Jill Greene, and Andrea Wilson.

IMG_5314

I love this work. Susan said that she admired iconography and religious scenes.

IMG_5313

This reminds me of beautiful iconography that I have seen at the Greek Orthodox church in Knoxville.

IMG_5291

Friends of the artist from Pittman Center. Pictured are Sharon Mellor, Lee Mellor, Jack Mellor, Gary and Mary Miles.

IMG_5295

Friends of the artist from Gatlinburg.

IMG_5278

The treats are always good from Jennifer Dyer and Courthouse Donuts.

IMG_5287 (1)

Susan Edwards’ friends attending the Art Happening are Pat Butler from Dandridge, and Suzanne Wedekind from Knoxville.

IMG_5280

I loved all the music. The percussionist was pretty good too.

IMG_5277

This multi-media work was my favorite. Outstanding!

IMG_5292

More friends of the artist from Sevierville are Dick and Pat White.

IMG_5281

My favorite treat is either the mini quiche or the chicken salad on tiny croissants.

IMG_5282

This captured the imagination—-doughnuts and sopapilla type chips with a caramel sauce. Oh my!

IMG_5305

Susan Edwards creates collaged sculptures. They are delightful! Her grandson made the jaguar.

IMG_5312

Susan and her husband, Don Edwards. Don provided the music for the event. I loved the songs that he sang. Excellent choice of entertainment!

IMG_5315

 

These were beautiful and related to the Walk of St. James in Spain. Susan has done the Walk of St. James, also known as El Camino de Santiago. The walk is a pilgrimage kind of  walk to where the remains of the disciple, St. James,  are traditionally said to be at rest.

IMG_5306

As we left the event, the sun was still hot and shining on downtown Sevierville. The flowers have never looked better.

FYI! 

Get your tickets for the Sevierville Commons Arts Council Blast Off event coming in a couple of weeks. Food will be served around the gazebo with tables and chairs nearby for dining. Art demonstrations will be available outside as well. Inside the Arts In Common gallery, attendees will have a ‘make-it and take-it’ opportunity. Also, there will be an ongoing silent auction.  Think Christmas presents! This new art space will be located in the old Bess Medical building on Bruce Street. I have sent off for my ticket. Get yours soon!

19693597_376427846093209_7058123243321069825_o

These are my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville. See you at the Blast Off!

 

14 Tips From the Patricia Nash ‘Blogger Party’ Last Week

IMG_4041

I am a fan of Patricia Nash purses so when I saw an announcement on Facebook regarding a ‘Blogger Party’ last week then it became a must- see event.  A blog is a website and a blogger writes on things that interest them. This party gathered some known fashion bloggers in the Knoxville area to draw people to the showroom. Here are 14 things that I observed that could benefit businesses, organizations, and individuals, especially regarding social media and marketing.

IMG_4042

1. First, invite bloggers that have a link to your product, service, or event. What is your niche? Fashion, health, fitness, food, lifestyle, etc?

IMG_4044

2. Bloggers at your event will interact with customers/clients/attendees and will be available for photos. In turn, bloggers will post photos of your product, service, or event on their blogs and other media platforms, multiplying audience exposure, thus engaging new followers.

IMG_4060

3. Invite other business that complement yours, but do not compete with your product. Patricia Nash sells handbags, so they invited several clothing boutiques, an artist, jewelry makers, and a hair salon to join the party.

IMG_4045

4. Have music. It creates a nice ambiance while promoting a local singer.

IMG_4067

5. Give out a free treat. This also gives a higher profile to a local food vendor and makes people cheerful.

IMG_4072

6. Give a free gift. The blogger party gift was a very nice leather key chain.

IMG_4055

7. Announce a free gift for the first 50 people. It creates urgency to get there early. Below, you can see my new keychain. So nice!

IMG_4056

8. Give out discount coupons. One was from the Patricia Nash store and the others were from the local boutiques. See them in the photo above. Very pretty discount cards were in each basket.

IMG_4052

9. Have designated spaces for the bloggers. This will drive customer traffic and promote contacts. Unfortunately, it rained heavily that day so the white tents were not used; rather, the bloggers stayed inside and mingled with the crowd. I parked under one though because the parking lot was full!

IMG_4076

10. Have an email sign-up sheet for contacts. 

IMG_4054

Now, for the most important things that I learned from the ‘Blogger Party.’

11. Use both Facebook and Instagram both to promote your business. The Patricia Nash showroom manager told me that they have noticed that people over 35 tend to use Facebook, but those under 35 tend to prefer Instagram. The manager further stated that  Instagram seems to be more suited to the younger, more fashion forward audience.

IMG_4070

12. Consider using two Instagram accounts: one for local, one for national marketing. For example, Patricia Nash uses two accounts.  Patricia Nash Showroom is local while Patricia Nash Designer is the national account. This is especially important as they begin selling merchandise on HSN.

IMG_4071

13. Follow basic Instagram rules to stay relevant. The Patricia Nash store manager recommended that one must stay active and post 1-3 times a day. Also, you should ‘like’ and comment on other pictures to stay engaged.

IMG_4063

The next thing was the most important ‘take away’ for me.

14. Create an Instagram ‘pod. The Patricia Nash manager described it as starting a group of other businesses, bloggers, artists, friends, (whatever you can manage) to create a supportive community on Instagram. Since the Instagram algorithms depend on ‘likes’ and ‘comments,’ then the people in the group are crucial to increasing success on that platform. Their goal is to support each other and commit to the community by ‘ liking’ and ‘commenting’ on each other’s posts to boost exposure on Instagram. The more interaction with ‘likes’ and comments gives your posts more views on Instagram.

IMG_4069

I really enjoyed the Patricia Nash ‘Blogger Party’ event and learned a lot. The showroom is beautiful and the people who work there are friendly and helpful. Here is their advice for creating such an event. Have variety and open it to everyone. Be able to ‘grow’ and evolve the event for the future. Use it as a means to meet local people while blending audiences at the same time.

IMG_4062

Actually, I see good use of social media in Sevierville. First, the local tourist groups are very active. Sevierville Commons uses both Facebook and Instagram to post pictures and info. If I pointed out local individuals who do a good job, then one would be Bev Guinn Jones who owns Two Coyotes Studio in downtown Sevierville. She is active on both Facebook and Instagram; further, we ‘like’ each others’ posts almost daily. I could say the same for  Lorie Lea Yount, who owns Loralei’s Boutique on Dolly Parton Parkway. She is extremely active on both social media platforms by posting her new merchandise. I like how she also posts pictures of customers and friends wearing the clothes that they have bought from her store. This is a type of marketing that works very well and gives lots of product exposure to customers.

IMG_4058

Blogger parties can be fun and not a very expensive way to promote products, services, and events. Keep your eyes open for people that help promote your products, etc. Ultimately, these events would also be a good way to get customers out and about in Sevierville. 

 

 

 

An Art Happening Featuring David Freeman: June 22, 2017

IMG_4102

It was a ‘full house’ by the time that I arrived to the Sevierville Commons Art Council Art Happening on Thursday evening. It was the largest crowd yet and quite an event. Here is what I saw at the Art Happening downtown.

IMG_4092

David Freeman is a freelance artist and commissioned in portraiture. This talent is quite evident in the portrait of Lee Murray, pictured above. Freeman estimated that it took over 120 hours to finish this portrait. I admit that portraits are my favorite. I have spent time in the Prado Museum looking at works by Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco so I was fascinated by this local example.

IMG_4094

I stood close it the portrait and marveled at the rings on the hand that sparkled and the skin tone looked so real. You can see the ring shining from where you are now online reading this post. Amazing!

Freeman told me that it is difficult painting hands because of the angles and softness. The skin tone in the painting was translucent, with an almost 3D effect. I held my hand against the painting and it had almost the same tones. The artist also enjoys painting nature, water, and horses in particular. Here is a link to his website. http://www.davidfreemanartist.com

IMG_4097

This was one of Freeman’s first paintings. It was done for a little boy. This painting is on masonite with a leather background,on a wooden frame. It is exquisite.

IMG_4104

Charlie Johnson and his daughter, Stefani Johnson, enjoying the Art Happening.

IMG_4089

Works by Freeman displayed on the walls of Courthouse Donuts/Dyers Downtown.

IMG_4108

Deborah Sams and Sophia Conerly supporting the Sevierville Commons Art Council event.

IMG_4117

Marchella Yanguzazova, Daria Jamison, and Camille Spires attending the Art Happening.

IMG_4124

Melinda Derrick and a long-time friend, artist Mary Phillips.

IMG_4121

An interesting lesson—Freeman took his drawing of Elvis and demonstrated how to enlarge it using a grid. You can use this technique to enlarge any drawing.

Here is the process, and the final result. It was very interesting!

IMG_4131

Freeman’s daughter, Julie Mullins, and featured artist for July, David Freeman.

IMG_4128

Do you remember this actor? Great drawing!

IMG_4123

Mary Ruden, and friend, talking with Sevier Commons Arts Council President and Events Chair, Laurel Kiewitt.

IMG_4101

Featured singer for the July 2017 Art Happening was Lynn Rose.

IMG_4145

I was able to capture a picture of five artists featured in past Art Happenings by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council (from left to right): Andrea Wilson, Crystal Lynn Sharp, David Freeman, Jill Greene, and Mary Ruden. What a wealth of talent we have in our county.

IMG_4100

IMG_4141

I loved the table centerpieces featuring paint brushes and flowers. So appropriate!

IMG_4111

The refreshments were perfect for a July evening and gracefully served.

Courthouse Donuts outdid themselves for catering the event. The Caprese bites in the first picture above were most popular. The dip in the middle picture had a nice jalapeño heat—but not too much. The chicken salad on cucumber slices were wonderful. I am going to try to make these some time for my friends.

IMG_4135

It was a busy evening downtown for the Thursday Art Happening. I took a last look through with window on my way out. Nice reflection of the courthouse through the window. Elvis, in the background, approves!

See you out and about in Sevierville…

 

 

A Trip to Blackberry Farm

It is not in Sevierville, but Blackberry Farm is such a special place that it deserves a blog story. My friends and I have wanted to go there for a long time; consequently, it is on many a ‘bucket list.’ I finally got my chance to visit last month. Let me take you for a visit to Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.

IMG_9636

Blackberry Farm is a  Relais & Chateaux resort near Townsend, Tennessee, in the Walland community. Essentially, it is a luxury retreat with gourmet food and a deep wine list. This survey ranks it 15 in the United States. I would suggest that it is even higher.

http://travel.usnews.com/Hotels/b-Relais_Chateaux_Hotels/

IMG_9638

How did I get so lucky to go to Blackberry Farm?

I attended a Southern Food Writer’s Conference last May, which included a dinner at Blackberry Farm. Cynthia Moxley wrote about it in her blog, The Blue Streak, last year and I knew that I had to go.  There were about 95 food writers in attendance for this special dinner, but believe me—Blackberry Farm was up to the task. I have never seen anything like it.

The goal was excellence. 

IMG_9657

It was a good idea to charter two buses because we were able to relax and arrive at dinner at one time. Ladies wear dress pants, skirts, or dresses. Men wear jackets. Notice the waiters walking toward us with a tray of champagne. Delightful!

IMG_9654

I took my friend Janice Sorrell. I knew that we would have a great time.

I got a chance to talk to this author, Adrian Miller. His book is pictured above and details stories about African Americans who have cooked in the White House kitchen for U.S. Presidents. I have ordered it on Amazon. His lecture was one of the best that we heard during the conference.

Southern Food Writers waiting to enter Bramble Hall.

IMG_9701

First, the staff encouraged us to take a tour of the wine cellar.  We proceeded underground to what seemed to be half a football field long storage area for wine and spirits. It boggled the mind!

IMG_9703

Even the coolers were elegant.

IMG_9704

A long hallway with wine aging gracefully.

IMG_9707

According to a sommelier at the Old City Wine Bar, Blackberry Farm spares no expense for their collection. The goal is to have one of the best cellars in the country. It is magnificent.

Pesto stuffed baby carrots.

 

Clams served on dill and dry ice. Can you see the mist?

IMG_9713

A Kentucky professor, originally from Madrid, recognized some Spanish wines in this room and assured me that they were of the highest quality. Too bad that this room was locked!

IMG_9723

This appetizer was served on a small terrarium.

Our dining room inside Bramble Hall and a view through the tall windows.

IMG_9732

I slipped out and saw the preparation for service. The unison of the wait staff was mesmerizing. They enterred and left the dining area with military precision. They were in step, all arms were moving together.

IMG_9735

The menu was perfection.

IMG_9738

Mary Celeste Beall, owner of Blackberry Farm, addresses the Southern Food Writers.

IMG_9748

Blackberry Farm field greens, ramps, shoots, and hickory syrup. It was wonderful.

IMG_9761

Beef ribeye cap with smoked beet puree, greens, and horseradish bernaise sauce.

IMG_9756

Andy Chabot, Blackberry Farm Sommelier, addresses the group. His selections were perfection.

IMG_9762

Strawberries and cream with vanilla olive oil. Unbelievably good.

IMG_9741

Beautiful wood burl decor.

IMG_9716

The bathroom had cloth towels to dry your hands. Cloth towels. I loved the concert posters over the sinks.

After dinner, we fairly floated to the bus and relaxed all the way back to Knoxville. It was almost like a dream…but it really happened. Janice and I agreed that it was the best meal that we had ever had. It was, indeed, perfection.

IMG_9678

A  toast to excellence at Blackberry Farm.

 

 

Charlotte’s Creative: A New Arts Center in Downtown Sevierville

IMG_3770 (1)

If you are interested in opening a business in downtown Sevierville then I recommend that you make haste because spaces are filling up quickly—which is great news! Several art galleries and a restaurant are taking shape. I visited an art space last Friday after the farmer’s market and can’t wait to go back. Let me take you to Charlotte’s Creative on Bruce Street.

IMG_3771 (1)

I saw mention of Charlotte’s Creative grand opening on Facebook so I knew that I could nt miss it. It is almost across from Sims Barber Shop on Bruce Street. It is very near the Sevier County Heritage Museum. Here is a link to her Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/Charlottes-Bruce-Street-Creative-318553705267269/

IMG_3777 (1)

Charlotte’s Creative is beautiful inside! The front section is like a combination shop/gallery. Love the rugs! Everything is arranged beautifully!

IMG_3842

Artist, Charlotte Wear, and a friend, are ready for the grand opening event on Bruce Street.

IMG_3774 (1)

Books for sale by a local author.

IMG_3775 (1)

The violins are beckoning!

IMG_3780 (5)

Charlotte Wear has taken classes from the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, as well as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The artist has finally created her dream space in downtown Sevierville. In this space, there will be a shop, a teaching area, a working area, and maybe a performance area. She will teach classes with diverse kinds of media. Her goal is to teach at least classes 3 days a week using metal, glass, textiles, or clay, and more. My friend and I are trying to decide which class to take first.

IMG_3792 (2)

Paige McClure attending the grand opening of Charlotte’s Creative.

IMG_3785 (1)

A gallery wall.

Entertainer, Sam Lewis, played music for the evening event. Charlotte told me that she had heard him play at Barley’s in Knoxville and enjoyed his music very much.  Sam Lewis has opened for Leon Russell and played with Chris Stapleton. That sounds like a good pedigree to me!

IMG_3857

IMG_3856

You can hear Lewis’ music on these CDs. Here is a link to his Facebook page. You can see that he has a busy schedule!

https://www.facebook.com/samlewistunes/

IMG_3852

Artists and family attend the grand opening evening event.

IMG_3855

These earrings are beautiful. Must shop here soon when I have more time. You can always use another set of earrings!

IMG_3861

Charlotte Wear introduces singer, Sam Lewis to a full house.

IMG_3859

Remember that name—Sam Lewis. He is a rising star.

IMG_3868

As I went to my car to go to a cookout, I noticed that there were many cars parked downtown. Some were at Charlotte’s Creative. IMG_3867

Others were arriving to get a good seat for the movie, “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton.

IMG_3863

Things are busy on Fridays now in downtown Sevierville—and that is a very good thing. Get out and enjoy!

See you at Charlotte’s Creative for a class some time when we are out and about in Sevierville. 

A Celebrity Visit of the Canine Variety: Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund!

I was en route to the downtown Sevierville farmers market this morning when I ran across a celebrity. Make that two. When I happened upon them, I quickly grabbed my camera and joined the crowd. Look who visited Sevierville today!

IMG_3676

I was lucky to cross paths with Kelly DeBord on the way to the market. We were chatting when she asked if I was going to the special event. I didn’t know of any special event, but 10 steps later we happened upon it. A celebrity was visiting the Sevier County courthouse, particularly the Dolly statue. It was a celebrity of the canine variety. Immediately, we recognized Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund!

IMG_3687.jpg

Crusoe and his half brother, Oakley, will be in Knoxville tomorrow for a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Kingston Pike. They have spent several days in our area as well on a tour of the Smokies. I was very excited because I have noticed their videos on Facebook for quite a while and have shared them with my friends.

Here is the link to their Facebook page. Go there to see several videos of their trip to the Smokies!

 https://www.facebook.com/crusoedachshund/

 

18839400_1507137136041443_6600469621263110225_o

After a few minutes, I saw Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters walk up and welcome the dogs and their owners to the city. Several city and tourism officials were also in attendance.

IMG_3688

Did you know that Mayor Waters owns dachshunds himself? He has them too!

IMG_3700

The owners, from Canada, asked the mayor if he would like to hold Crusoe. Fortunately, Mayor Waters has experience in this area. You have to be careful because dachshund’s backs are fragile.  See the Mountain Press covering the story as it happens!

 

IMG_3708

Oakley is a patient pooch.

IMG_3713

This is a great picture of Mayor Waters and Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund with the Dolly Parton statue.

IMG_3720

But they weren’t finished. After the picture with the mayor, I noticed a costume change. Do you see what is happening here?

IMG_3726

Voila— a star is born!

IMG_3727

Go to the official website to browse and shop for merchandise. http://www.celebritydachshund.com/store/

IMG_3729

I found the dogs to be very calm and patient. The owner said that they know the routine and liver treats are expected. Also, they travel well. This is Oakley’s first trip. Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains!

IMG_3732

Talk about good timing! On my walk to the farmers market, I was able to meet two celebrities of the canine variety. You NEVER know who you may run into when you are out and about in Sevierville…

Click below to go to Crusoe’s website. (Copied from the link.)

“Hey look, I’m Dolly Parton – er, Dolly Pawton?”

~ Crusoe

Image may contain: dog and outdoor