Dear Friends,


New Stuff in the Shop:

I just went to West Asheville to visit Andrea Freeman in her studio. She was up to her ears in orders, as Anthropologie has placed an order for 500 of her mugs. Anthropolgie is my favorite chain store, so I am so proud of Andrea for catching the eye of her very picky buyers. I got some great new designs from Andrea, so come get them here…or pay $$$ for them at the mall!

booth 9


The Booth is Open!

Ron and I have installed some very cool stuff in the new booth at Sleepy Poet on South Blvd, Charlotte. (It’s near Woodlawn Rd.) Everyone I know thinks I am crazy for doing this. I’m supposed to be slowing down and simplifying life, I guess, but I am raring to go. I went down to Charlotte again on Thursday with friends Steve Parker and Chris Slusher, who would like to open a booth there as well. It would be fun to ride back and forth with them, so I hope they get a booth quickly. I also look forward to meeting Charlotte friends for lunch when I am down in the QC. My booth is on Aisle 15….a bit hard to find, but worth the trip.


Coming Soon:

My daughter Abby is in town this weekend to meet with Robbie Jaeger and the cast of Charlotte’s Web as continue rehearsals for their show at NC Stage later this month.  I advise everyone who will be in Asheville July 17-27 to contact NC Stage and get tickets for a show. I promise you that you will love it!


New York Bound??

Check out my son Natty’s new restaurant in Queens, The Astor Room. I am so proud of him for venturing out on a limb to open his own restaurant. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Natty. For the past 3 1/2 years he has been churning out as many as 1000 meals a night at Lavo and Catch. Now he can control his own menu and give really personalized service.




Now for those of you following my serialized saga,

44 Cherry Street.

Chapter 5 


Lorraine poured herself another cup of Dynamite coffee (no cream, for heaven’s sake, or sugar), and picked up the cup. As she walked towards her desk, she avoided the ornate gilt framed mirror, not wanting to catch a glimpse of her face without make-up…(too depressing), and sat down at the carved walnut secretary. The sun from the front window warmed her back as she opened the lap top, blocking the sun on its screen with her body. The room smelled of the rosemary and sage growing in the window boxes on the table in front of the window. She checked her e-mail, found nothing but junk mail, and clicked on 

Lorraine had decided to venture into the scary world of on-line dating. She sure wasn’t meeting anyone interesting in Black Mt. Time was ticking by, and she hadn’t had a date since she and Earl had had a falling out two years earlier. She thought of Earl for a moment with his earthy smell, tousled hair, and rugged good looks. They had been together for seven years, but things had deteriorated when it became clear that she wasn’t going to stop being desirous of fine jewelry and antique silver, and he wasn’t ever going to propose or even make a commitment to her. He was a Peter Pan sort of guy. He was in his early seventies, but still trying to decide what he was going to be when he grew up. He didn’t really have a job, but spent his time hiking, canoeing, and flirting with other women. 

Before Earl, there had been Bobby, and after him Fred. That was when she lived in the big house in Biltmore Forest and could shop with impunity. Sure, she still received a paycheck, but that didn’t go too far with her champagne taste. Now that she was old enough to collect Social Security, Lorraine was craving some real financial security again. 

She had stopped celebrating her birthday when she hit fifty, but was still a little sad every year when her birthday rolled around and she was still single. That day had just passed unrecognized the week before. She was feeling a sense of urgency. She opened the page and found the blank profile page. She filled in her name and hesitated when it was time to enter her age. Sixty-eight sounded so old!  What man would be interested in an ancient person of sixty-eight? All those men in the appropriate age group were seeking young women in their thirties. She did look so much younger than her age. Everyone said so. “Forty-nine,” she wrote after a moment’s hesitation. Then she scrolled through the photos of herself she had saved in her downloads. She located a picture of herself on her honeymoon with Fred when she was forty. They had gone to Cabo and had a glorious time. There was a photo of her in a bikini, and damn, she looked good! She uploaded that to her profile. Now came the daunting task of creating a profile statement. What could she possibly say about herself that would interest the sort of man she wanted (rich, generous, and nearsighted.)

She started writing,”I am a very thin, cheerful, active woman with a splendid dog…” No. That wasn’t very good. She deleted that opening and started again. Suki was nudging her hand, asking for a cookie. Lorraine ignored her.

“Love midnight walks on the beach, gourmet dining, and luxurious trips to Europe? I am your girl!”  No. Trite. She deleted that too. She needed to make herself seem exciting, young, and hard to get.” She started again.

“Maybe you saw me last weekend, sailing by you on the zip line at Navitat.” (Lie. She was scared of heights and would never go on a zip line.) “I was the shapely brunette in a red silk skirt, black leotard, and long silk scarf, laughing and singing an opera aria as I flew over the tree tops. Or maybe our eyes met as I skied the black diamond slopes of Telluride last December.”(She was a terrible skier who stayed on beginner slopes, usually at Sugar Mountain).  “Or possibly we were together on that safari in Kenya in the spring. I was the shapely brunette with the big rifle.” (Did one take a rifle on a safari?) She changed those words to, “…I was the slender woman with the Nikon camera shooting photos for National Geographic. I gazed at you over by brandy as we warmed ourselves at night by the campfire.”

So far so good. Now she had to create a philosophy of life for herself. “I am a hedonist. I enjoy the finer things in life and love having a good time. I love good food and wine. (all this was true). I love to cook for friends, experimenting with international cuisine and trying out new spice blends. As far as religion goes, I see God in everyone, even mean people, and I worship God as I use His meat, vegetables, and cheeses to prepare delicious meals. Food is a sacrament.”  This seemed pretty much on-target. She really was a foodie.

“I love art. I paint and sculpt, and sell my work at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville. I enjoy spending afternoons browsing art museums and galleries in cities around the world, then drinking a glass of sauvignon blanc at an outdoor cafe. I enjoy going to the movies and eating a big bag of salty popcorn with the cold beer I have smuggled in in my purse. I also adore live theater and go to NC Stage as often as I can to see their wonderful plays, especially those starring Willie Repoley. I used to like live rock and roll shows, but find that my tastes now run to Chamber Music concerts. Just went to a great one at Warren Wilson where a string quartet played a difficult piece by a composer named Schmidt. It was magical!

Let’s get together over a glass of wine or a cup of good coffee and share our passions.”

Before she could read it and have second thoughts, she clicked “save” and “send”. Done! She closed the top of her lap top and took a deep breath. Her hands were shaking. She turned to the drinks trolley and poured herself a small glass of sherry and took a good sip. Now all she had to do was wait. By tonight she should have some responses from possible suitors. 

She turned towards the bathroom to shower and get ready for work.