Washington Street Gallery & Gift Grand Opening Reception

Posted by  | June 29, 2010  at 6:31 PM  
Washington Street Gallery & Gift--located in historic downtown Charles Town, WV--held their official grand opening reception on Saturday, June 26, 2010. Gallery owner, Susan Ford Pritchard has created the perfect setting to showcase the talent of local artists and artisans as the gallery strives to house something for all personalities and purses. From life-sized oil paintings for over $3,000, to poignant sculptures for around $500 to eye-catching jewelery for under $100: it's hard to leave without seeing something that suits your lifestyle.

The grand opening on Saturday was an enriching experience as patrons not only perused the pieces, but were able to mingle with the actual artists. Many of these talented individuals are in the pictures below with their artwork in the background, so you can get a sneak peek at what the gallery has to offer. For more information on any of these artists, just click on his or her name in the caption and you will be re-directed to their website.

Diana Eldridge and Mary-Jo Bennett

Joanna & Don Athey, Judy Bradshaw, and Nancy McKeithen

Lynn Lavin, John Bickle, George & Mary Knipe

Patricia Perry and Sue Kennedy

Be sure to visit the Washington Street Gallery & Gift website (http://wstreetgallery.com/) to learn about upcoming events, including an exhibit from internationally-acclaimed local artisan Mary Sheppard Burton entitled "Textiles to Lift the Spirit." This exhibit will run from July 16-18 and feature a book signing from 12pm-2pm on July 17, as well as a chance to view the Noah's Ark (pictured right) before it moves to its permanent home in Nova Scotia, Canada. This impressively intricate piece was made in collaboration with Leonard Feenan and measures 5'7" tall!

More pictures from the reception after the jump, including works from Susan Lico, Gil Garcia, Susan Shildmyer, and Lin Hausknecht.

Pink to Drink--2010 Relay for Life Pink Party

Posted by  | June 22, 2010  at 5:33 PM  
Friday, June 18, the U.S. Coast Guard team "NMC Coasties for a Cure" joined forces with the Station Grill in Martinsburg, WV, to host a fuchsia-filled fundraiser for Relay for Life.

It was like looking at the Station through rose-colored glasses--margarita glasses that is. Attendees were encouraged to wear their prettiest pink ensembles, while they sipped on a variety of magenta mixtures. Several raffles were held throughout the evening and prizes included a Vera Bradley tote.

Everyone looks pretty in pink, don't you think?

Kellyn Jackson and Melynda Thompson

Kelly Morris and Amanda Combs

Melissa Hollidge and Allie Cook

Tracey Wygal, Tricia Morris, Karma Wood, and Matt Wygal

Becky Barkdoll and Kellyn Jackson

Heather Davis, Dylan Corbin, Jeanette Corbin,
Anthony Lowe, Heaven Puffenbarger, Amy Milburn,
Erika South, Jessica Fortney, and Lisa Bishop

For more information on Relay for Life, and what you can do to help, click here !

Timmie Jane Vintage & More

Posted by  | June 18, 2010  at 10:22 AM  

When stolling down mainstreet Middleburg, VA, one can't help but notice the stunning window displays of one of Washington street's newer occupants--Timmie Jane. Stepping into Timmie Jane is like walking into a museum, albeit a museum where you not only get to look at pretty things, but also try them on and take them home as well!

Timmie Jane proprietor, Nichole Stephenson, has an exceptional eye for picking quality, wearable pieces. Much like consignment stores, vintage stores can be overwhelming and yet underwhelming at the same time. Placement, prices, pieces--it always comes down to the 3 P's. Except sometimes the middle P (price) doesn't apply, since great vintage pieces are truly treasures and deserving of  a hefty price tag. Then again, that's the fun thing about vintage shopping: some treasures are in the eye of the beholder, so you may find your own "treasure" for a real bargain.

My take on Timmie Jane?

Placement: Clutter is one thing you won't find at Timmie Jane. Everything is well-organized, but the best are the manequins. The manequins sport Timmie Jane's finest pieces and are decked out to the 9's with all of the acoutrements appropriate for the time period. Hats, gloves, and purses--those manequins are ready for a night on the town!

Prices: As previously mentioned, vintage prices will always vary from $ to $$$$. However, at Timmie Jane you never look at a price tag and wonder "why." It only takes looking at these gorgeous pieces from the past to appreciate not only the original workmanship, but what it takes to preserve an item over decades.

Pieces: Swoon-worthy. Seriously. Look at the pictures, words can't do them justice.

Timmie Jane
12 East Washington Street
Middleburg, VA  20118

Photos: Timmie Jane on Facebook

Picnic Perfect: 2010 Upperville Grand Prix

Posted by  | June 15, 2010  at 5:49 PM  

"Baby there's no other superstar, you know that I'll be your paparazzi"--Aaron Vale and Paparazzi were both superstars this weekend when they won the 2010 Upperville Jumper Classic on Sunday, June 13, at the 157th Upperville Colt & Horse Show.

Not only did the jumps reach record highs, but the temperatures were up there as well. Despite the sweltering heat and humidity, the hillside adjacent to the jumper ring was packed with people, puppies, and lots of picnic baskets.

For this year's Grand Prix, I decided to go for a Mediterranean feel with a local touch. I also wanted foods that required little prep and were easy to eat. Packing the perfect picnic basket requires careful planning, occasional baking, and is best enjoyed with good friends. What I have yet to master, though, is having a picnic basket that weighs less than 25lbs.

So what did I pack?

Cheese: Valencay, several flavored chevres, smoked cheddar--most of my cheeses were from Spriggs Delight Farm, and I picked up the cheddar from Sunny Meadows Market (both near Sharpsburg, MD). I bought a baguette to accompany the valencay, some bite-sized wheat crackers for the flavored chevres, and water crackers for the cheddar.

Hummus: Yes, hummus is very easy to make, but there is also no shame in opting for store-bought. If you're looking to jazz up your grocery store hummus, just drizzle some olive or sesame oil on top and add a few flakes of parsley. I wanted this to be a somewhat healthy basket, so I sliced cucumbers, carrots, and celery to go with the hummus.

Lavender Cookies: Every picnic basket needs something sweet. After lots of Googling I found the recipe for these cookies on the website for a Lavender Fair in Alum Bridge, West Virginia. The recipe I used was the 2003 winning recipe, and they were simply divine! They come across as a prim & proper cookie, but they're very easy to make.

Beverages: I packed a pinot noir from the sale bin at Grapes & Grains and several frozen Capri Suns. True, my picnic pals were all over 21, but don't laugh about the Capri Suns--they were life-saving at the end of the day!

Necessities: Nothing is worse than sitting down to enjoy your lovely picnic and realizing that you forgot something really important like cheese knives or a corkscrew! Always be sure that you have everything you need to open and enjoy your food, as well as clean it up: this includes, but is not limited to, trash bags, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. Also take the weather and location into consideration, since no one is happy with post-picnic bug bites and sunburn.

Picnic Blanket: I failed in this department. On Sunday there was a 40% chance of T-storms, so I had the bright idea to pack a blanket that could double as a rain cover. This was a terrible plan. I had a cute, plastic tablecloth that I thought was practically perfect in every way. Sure, if it had rained it may have helped keep us dry, but it didn't rain and  hot plastic + sweaty sundress-exposed legs = a slippery, hot mess. When selecting a picnic blanket, I recommend something cotton, possibly a cotton blend, but NEVER plastic.

Picnic Perfect will be a recurring feature on Pretty in the Panhandle throughout the summer. If you'd like to share your favorite picnic spot or picnic basket essential, email me (richele@prettyinthepanhandle.com) or leave a comment below!

Weekly Wine Tasting at Grapes & Grains Gourmet

Posted by  | June 11, 2010  at 5:17 PM  
Every Saturday from 1-7PM Grapes & Grains Gourmet--housed in their lovely new space at 110 East German Street--offers free wine tasting! Don't be fooled by the cost (or lack thereof), this isn't your grocery store's wine tasting. Grapes & Grains offers quality samplings that span the wine spectrum, are paired perfectly with gourmet cheeses, and you actually learn something in the process. The people at Grapes & Grains are not just trying to coerce you into buying a bottle of wine, they're giving you the opportunity to experience what their store has to offer. However, the chances that you'll leave empty-handed are slim to none.

Last Saturday, my mother and I were dropping off some things at R Design & Consign and decided to stop by Grapes & Grains to pickup some staples and sample some wine. There were four wines this week: chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, and merlot.

I was very intrigued by French Rabbit's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are actually REALLY GOOD boxed wine--forget Franzia, think of them as delicious, eco-friendly, grown-up juice boxes. Not to mention, instead of the standard 750mL you get in a bottle, the French Rabbit boxes are 1L, so you get an extra glass or so in every box!

We also sampled a Fog Mountain Merlot and a Moselland Pink Cat Riesling. The Pink Cat wine comes in a bottle that is pink and looks like a cat: the bottle alone makes for a good purchase, but a portion of Pink Cat sales go to breast cancer research and it's a tasty wine, so it is an excellent purchase.

Paired with this week's wines were two varieties of goat cheese from Spriggs Delight Farm in Sharpsburg, MD--which is just across the Potomac from Shepherdstown. I sampled the Fruit & Nut and the Garlic & Herb, which were both incredible. I checked out the Spriggs' website, and I can't wait to go visit the farm and try their Pineapple & Jalapeno Chevre!

What: Weekly Wine Tasting

When: Saturdays from 1-7PM

Where: Grapes & Grains Gourmet
110 East German Street
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Why: Why ask such a silly question?

Steppin' Out Shoes & Such

Posted by  | June 8, 2010  at 3:23 PM  
It's hard to step out from Steppin' Out without at least one new pair of shoes. Set on the main drag of Shepherdstown, WV--West German Street--Steppin' Out Shoes & Such offers a range of footwear from the more "practical" Clark's and Dansko clogs to shoes that I consider closet staples such as these metallic flowered leopard print sandals by Poetic Licence.

Upon further consideration, I think I also might need these wedges. You can't really tell from the picture, but the texture combination on these shoes is fantastic: embossed crocodile combined with a burlap-like fabric. Plus, the yellow blends with the beige making this a totally neutral shoe.

Then again, these pansy sandals were 50% off!

Decisions, decisions...

Steppin' Out Shoes & Such
110 West German Street
Shepherstown, WV 25443
Hours: Monday-Friday 11-6, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-5

Scarpa Alta: A Shoe Boutique

Posted by  |   at 12:26 PM  
Scarpa Alta--when in Rome it means "high shoe", but when in Winchester, it translates to high fashion.

Located in the Creekside Station shopping center in Winchester, VA, Scrapa Alta shoe boutique has a snazzy selection of shoes both high and low. In addition to the shoes, Scarpa Alta also carries a variety of  fun jewelry and other must-have summer accessories.

From little Suri Cruises-in-training, to those of us who like to add some bling to our business attire, Scarpa Alta has plenty of gorgeous little things for everyone.

Scarpa Alta
3111 Valley Ave Suite 108
Winchester, VA 22601
Hours: Monday 12-4 & Tuesday-Saturday 10 -6

Pedi-Profile: L.L. McKee Salon

Posted by  | June 3, 2010  at 3:14 PM  

Salon/Spa: L.L. McKee Salon

Contact: 540.678.3533

Nail Tech: Brandy Ruiz

Treatment: Basic Pedicure

Cost: $45

Length:  65 Minutes

Polishes: OPI

Atmosphere: L.L. McKee is a full service salon offering everything from the basics to more specialized   services such as Nova eyelash extensions and Keratin hair smoothing treatments. The salon reminded me of many of the places I've visited in DC, Charlotte, and Atlanta; however, the staff at L.L. McKee are what really makes them stand out. The staff were all welcoming and extremely knowledgeable--they are truly there for you, the customer. As I was waiting for my toes to dry, I overheard Brandy discussing facial options with a new customer: she explained the different treatments in detail, advised the customer as to which would be best for her skin-type, and set the customer's friend up with a pedicure while she awaited her facial. Needless to say, I will definitely be scheduling a facial with Brandy sometime in the near future!

Special Treatment: Brandy was meticulous with both my nails and her workspace: everything was thoroughly cleaned and then cleaned again. She made sure that my pedicure was exactly what I wanted, and it was perfect!

Bottom Line: Pleasantly Posh

WV Wine and Arts 2010

Posted by  | June 2, 2010  at 5:49 PM  
Set under the branches of historic Boydville  in Martinsburg, WV, the West Virginia Wine and Arts Festival is quickly becoming one of my favorite Memorial Weekend traditions in the Eastern Panhandle. In addition to featuring WV winemakers and artisans, the festival also showcases the annual Palette Project put on by Mainstreet Martinsburg, which will then be on display downtown 'til September 5.

Whether you like to sample a little of everything or you have your eyes set on a particular vineyard or two, the Wine and Arts Festival has something for everyone--and that doesn't just apply to the wines.

Tours of Boydville are offered throughout the weekend, some local llamas make an appearance, and Saturday's & Sunday's schedules are filled with musical acts to entertain festival-goers after they've perused the vendors and made their purchases.

The Wine and Arts Festival is a perfect way to welcome summer, as it brings with it the prospect of many more lazy afternoons spent with good friends, good music, and great wine. Below is a recipe for Vu ja de Vineyard's sangria, which made it's inaugural appearance at this year's Wine and Arts and was an instant festival favorite. This sangria is perfect for summer soire├ęs and Sunday Fundays alike: definitely a staple on my summer menus!

Vu ja de Sangria

1 - bottle of "Sexy Syrah"
2 - cans of 7-up
1 - cinnamon stick

Cut up fruit of your choosing to add to the above mixture.

Vu ja de recommends:

Chill and enjoy! 

More pictures from the WV Wine and Arts Festival after the jump: