ROAD TRIP: VIP Campfire Jam II

Posted by  | November 28, 2012  at 9:09 PM  

Larry Keel & Toubab Krewe
November 1, 2012, I said sayonara to Romney, Ryan, Sandy, et al. as I packed up the Mini, unplugged from the real world, and found myself southbound on I-81 for VIP Campfire Jam II. Held at Stoney Creek Resort in Greenville, VA, this Big Poppa Productions event was the perfect way to close out the 2012 festival season. I left VIP Campfire Jam II with almost enough of that post-festival feeling to tide me over 'til the spring thaw.

Was it cold? Most definitely. Did my toothpaste freeze? You better believe it. Did I care? Not in the least. From the second I saw Larry Keel clad in pirate gear and his wife Jenny dressed proudly as Lady Liberty, I knew it was going to be both a wonderful weekend and a weekend full of wonders.

As Thursday night's bands were warming up, VIP guests (which at this festival is everyone) migrated toward the heated tent which housed the main stage. However, in order to enter said heated tent, festival-goers first had to pass through a tunnel lined with black light 3D paintings by AEB Creative Works. No matter how many times I traversed the tunnel, I always found myself stopping to stare at something new. Adding to what was already a very colorful experience, Thursday night you were the odd man out if you weren't wearing a costume. Even the bands for the evening were decked out--instead of Larry Keel and LEATHal Matter it was more Peg Leg Larry and LEATHal Mario. True, it was the night after Halloween, but would that really have even mattered?

Masquerade mayhem is tough to top, but Friday's festivities did not fail. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong kicked things off on Friday and they never fail to make a fashion statement ;) Their early afternoon set gave night owls a chance to catch some slumber before they flocked to the stage as the first strains of Funk E. Zekial filled the brisk mountain air. The birds were followed by the blues (or something like it) as People's Blues of Richmond took the stage, and from there it was a steady stream of amazing music including more Larry Keel and LEATHal Matter. As Friday segued into Saturday, the music never really stopped. At the VIP Campfire Jam, it was guaranteed that at any hour of the day, whether on stage, by a campfire, or in a cabin, someone was playing some tunes.

Every night (or early morning as was often the case) as I cocooned myself into my sleeping bag, I fell asleep thinking nothing could possibly top that day's experiences, but then every day brought something even better. Saturday's musical line-up was astounding: David Via, Danny Knicely, more Nate Leath, Rolling Green (who had the most a-mazing rugs on stage), Toubab Krewe (more crazy percussion instruments than you could shake a stick at [pun intended]), Acoustic Syndicate (wow), and then there was Larry Keel on stage with everyone! At one point I counted around 17 people on stage--tell me that isn't insane in the most brilliant way possible?!

VIP Campfire Jam II, was better than any VIP experience I've ever had, even rivaling the Special Guest Pass I won to Bonnaroo 2007. VIP Campfire Jam was a place where lobsters were flown in from Maine, frosty beverages were topped with glitter sprinkles, and introductions were paired with a hug instead of a handshake. After my weekend at VIP Campfire Jam II, even Monday morning didn't look so scary; although, it probably helped that my inbox was freshly filled with Facebook requests from all my new friends. :)

For a more musical, band-by-band review, check out Becca Cranwell's post over on the Appalachian Jamwich blog:

For more of my pictures from VIP Campfire Jam II, CLICK HERE.

P.S. Be sure to check out Milky Wave Tie-Dye for some really amazing pieces! I snagged a couple of his tie-dyed bandanas that I will most definitely be sporting at festivals all summer long :)

P.P.S. Because you can never get enough Larry Keel, be sure to catch him on Friday, November 30, at Opera House Live in Shepherdstown and on Friday, December 14, at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va!

The Venus Effect

Posted by  | November 22, 2012  at 9:09 PM  

Fight4She will be hosting "The Venus Effect" at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown, WV this Saturday, November 24, 2012

“The Venus Effect”, created by Fight4She , wishes to raise awareness and support for people who have suffered domestic violence, the event will benefit the Shenandoah Women’s Center in Martinsburg, WV. This event will be a fabulous and empowering for any woman to attend. 

Every woman will enjoy herself at this high energy, New York-style fashion show, twenty-five models will strut their stuff in head-to-toe creations donated by local designers, makeup artists and hair stylists.  Music will be provided by DJ Ranch, acoustic singer/songwriter Kipyn Martin and Shepherdstown’s own Ruckus Revival.  A cash bar will be available to ensure that a fantastic time is had by all.  There will be a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Women’s Center.

Admission is $10.00 or $8.00 if accompanied by a donation from the SWC wish list, which includes pre-paid phone cards, grocery cards and gift cards from Martin's, Wal-Mart, Food Lion and Sheetz.  The complete wish list is available on the Fight4She page on Facebook. 

The Venus Effect

November 24,2012

Shepherdstown, WV


Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday: Post-Thanksgiving Shopping Specials in the Panhandle

Posted by  | November 21, 2012  at 12:38 PM  

And because the big box stores won't be serving mimosas ;) 
All jesting aside, as you finish (or perhaps start) your holiday shopping this weekend, I encourage you all to do some exploring. Maybe there's a window display that's caught your eye while strolling down the sidewalk or sitting at a stoplight--go, shop, spend! Now is the time to support your local economy before that store you've always wanted to check out isn't there any more. By shopping small, local businesses, you will experience superior customer service and you will find great, unique gifts; however, it's about more than just goods and services. When you shop small, you're supporting families and friends; you're investing in your community, your future.  
 Here are some great places to start...
FREE pair of natural stone or glass earrings! (great stocking stuffer)
When you spend $50 or more!
NO RUSH FEE on ALL holiday custom orders all weekend long!
FREE Knit flower when you purchase a knitted hat
ONE:. Order a custom piece made by Cari Rosen!

TWO: Present your receipt from any of Shepherdstown shops listed below to receive 10% off of your ENTIRE purchase (excluding consigned work) at PLUM on Black Friday and/or Small Biz Saturday: Grapes and Grains Gourmet, ReFINEments, Steppin Out Shoes, Two Rivers Treads

Plum is collecting canned goods, new toys, new clothing, coats, and essentials for children in need in our local Shepherdstown community. PLEASE HELP! These donations will be going directly to our local elementary school for holiday distribution to families in dire need of these items. It is with many thanks and much gratitude that Plum,accepts these donations, in response to your kindness Plum will give 10% off of your entire purhase during both weekends of Christmas in Shepherdstown. You can drop off your donation(s) ANY DAY, ANY TIME during business hours (Mon.-Thurs. 11-6, Fri.-Sat. 11-7 and Sun. 10-6) in return, you'll receive a coupon for 10% off to be used on Nov. 23, 24, 25. and 30, and Dec. 1 and 2. PLEASE HELP!!!!

Small Business Saturday!
Be sure to register your American Express Credit Card at
to get $25 credit to spend at Plum

Cyber Monday!
Free shipping at when you enter the code freemonday
Open 'til 6PM on Small Business Saturday with Holiday Stollen for only $24.95!
 Sky's the Limit (Shepherdstown, WV & Frederick, MD)
Black Friday Early Bird Clothing Sale:
9AM-10AM: 30% off
10AM-11AM: 20% off

SquarePegMeg (Shepherdstown, WV & Online)
Thanksgiving Day-Cyber Monday: 20% off your entire purchase with code "Holiday2012" when you shop SquarePegMeg's Etsy store ( ) or mention this code when you visit her at the Shepherdstown Men's Club Holiday Bazaar
10% off of Fair Trade Products ~ Black Friday AND Small Business Saturday ... MUST MENTION THEY SAW IT ON FACEBOOK
Small Business Saturday: receive a 25 credit if you use American Express for checkin or checkout on Saturday, November 24.
"SHOP SMALL EXTRAVAGANZA" - FREE gifts to the first 30 customers - FREE chocolate chip cookies - ALL CLOTHING will be 20% off - and a Special SHOP SMALL Sale Section featuring 
some of our finest jewelry at AMAZINGLY GREAT sale prices!

Black Friday Fun!!!
6am Mimosas, Muffins & Discounts
Main Store:
frasier fir candle gift w/any purchase
10% off 6-8am
and our 1st Annual
"Black Rack Attack"
50% off the lowest price on our sale rack
of Lilly Pulitzer & other lines 6-10am only
kids store:
6-7am 20% off
7-8am 15% off
8-10am 10% off
Posh Pets (Winchester, VA)
All Day Plaid (Black) Friday Specials include:

Plush black or pink pet beds with fleece blanket for $19.99 (50% off)
  Pink or brown fluffy pet blankets for$18.99
All designer beds 25% off
Select Fleece outerwear 25% off

Morning Specials from 9am-1pm: All iced cookies and bully sticks 25% off
Evening Specials from 4pm-7pm: All car magnets 25% off
All Christmas pet toys 25% off

25% off your purchases from 9 am til 1 pm on Black Friday, 15% off from 1 pm til 7 pm and then 15% off all day Saturday
Scarpa Alta (Winchester, VA)
Black Friday Discounts:
9AM - 11AM: 40% off
11AM - 5:30PM: 20% off

Jordan Springs Market (Stephenson, VA)
 Buy 1 lb of BBQ on Saturday and get a side of homemade potato salad or cole slaw free for Shop Small Saturday.
Upcycled T Shirt Ruffle Scarves for buy 2 get 1 free. Total cost $30 for all 3 plus s/h of $5. These are your choice of up to 3 colors for each scarf. You choose the colors!

Editors Note: I will be adding to this list as I see new deals pop up, so be sure to check back!

The Gilded Flea of Harpers Ferry

Posted by  | November 8, 2012  at 6:17 PM  

Five seconds after entering The Gilded Flea, I had a Jaws-esque moment as I thought to myself "I'm gonna need a bigger boat" or in my case, a bigger Mini Cooper. Located on the outskirts of historic Harpers Ferry, WV, and housed in an old funeral parlor (creepy, yet oh so cool), The Gilded Flea is a true 24-carat find.

Ample parking alone (a rarity in Harpers Ferry) gives The Gilded Flea some serious bonus points, but the real thrill is once you cross the threshold. Upon entering the store, it's like you've traversed quite a few decades and perhaps a century or two. You'll find yourself surrounded by so many amazing things that you kind of don't want to leave, but when you eventually do, I guarantee you're not walking out empty-handed!  

Plan on spending some time at The Gilded Flea--not because the store is so stuffed you feel like you're suffocating, it's just that you'll want to take your time to make sure you've checked out every single nook, cranny, and crypt (kidding!). After I finished mentally redecorating my entire house with The Gilded Flea's stash of mid-century furniture, I was super ecstatic to stumble upon their music and game room! Vinyl records are one of my many weaknesses and The Gilded Flea's inventory did not disappoint. Should you feel like taking one for a spin, there's even a turntable on hand, so you can test drive your tunes.

In addition to all the awesome antique and vintage pieces, you'll also find one-of-a-kind creations made from various combinations of reclaimed wood and other re-purposed goods. Pretty sure I desperately need a new coffee table or two. Did I mention I will be stealing my brother's truck for my return trip??? 

Just when you think you're probably going to need to give up a kidney to fund all of your great finds, you will be pleasantly surprised when you give the price tags a flip. The prices at The Gilded Flea are extremely fair, making it a great place to not only shop for yourself, but the perfect place to pick up gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. ***hint, hint, hint***

The Gilded Flea
970 Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV
304.579.7119  25425

More pics after the break...