Kathy

Kathy

kathynewcomer@appalachianspring.com

Job: General Merchandise Manager

Takes her coffee: Hazelnut flavored, 2 packs of Equal and fat free half and half.

Her favorite show currently: The Voice. it makes me feel young and up-to-date with the music my kids might listen to. They are shocked when I can name an artist or group when a song plays on the radio.

Favorite quote: "Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." Mother Teresa

One of my favorite Appalachian Spring items: My Fire & Light dishes! We use them every day, for every meal.



Posts by Kathy:

Everyday is Earth Day

Although the calendar reminds us April 22 is Earth Day, everyday is Earth Day for Colorado-based textile artist, Ayn Hanna.  Formally trained as a professional fine art printmaker, Ayn began exploring the textile medium in 2005.  We are delighted to be carrying Ayn’s Eco-dyed, silk charmeuse and crepe de chine scarves at Appalachian Spring.

Ayn Hanna Leave on Fabric

Ayn begins the eco-dyeing process by collecting local plant leaves, flowers and stems and bundling these within the silk fabric.  The bundles are then tightly wrapped around a stick, sometimes adding metal pieces to achieve even greater color variations.

The next step is to boil or steam the bundles in a pot of water with leaves of various color hues.  The bundles rest a while before Ayn unwraps them to reveal the unique colors and marks left upon the silk.  Ayn then works her magic to skillfully finish the eco-dyed silk into beautiful scarves.

Ayn Hanna Two photos

We encourage you to visit any of our four store locations to see for yourself the beauty of nature’s colors and marks that can be achieved when combining water, heat, plants and metal.  Although these scarves are not available on our website, you will find many other beautiful scarf selections in our fashion department.

Ayn Hanna

Ayn Hanna

Puppy Love

“Puppy Love” was written by Paul Anka in 1960 for his girlfriend at the time, Annette Funicello. The Donny Osmond version was released in 1972 and made this preteen’s heart swoon!  However, this post is about a more tangible type of love between you and your pet.

 

fiona

 

We are delighted to have several artists working with Appalachian Spring who bring joyful depictions of a variety of animals into their designs. The ceramic mugs and dog and cat bowls by Karen Donleavy Designs are simply delightful! Karen includes approximately 80 breeds of dogs and cats in her designs so you can be almost certain to find a match to your furry,  four-legged friend!  What could be better than your morning cup of coffee or tea with a playful reminder of your pet?

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WestieMug

 

 

It’s Ornament Time at Appalachian Spring!

20150921_095038a#itsthatimeofyear at Appalachian Spring!  We love hanging the ornaments  in all of the stores.  For many of us this signals the end of summer with vacations being but a fond memory and the beginning of fall when our thoughts turn to the changing seasons and the upcoming holidays.

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The hanging of the ornaments is the culmination of many months of preparation. Discussions begin in January and February with the ornament artists regarding design plans.  In the spring and early summer, orders are placed with close to 40 artists for delivery in early Fall. We order several thousand ornaments in glass, ceramic, and pewter, giving our customers a broad selection.

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Once the ornaments start arriving, it takes a team effort to process the deliveries.  Each order has to be unpacked, sorted by style, tagged and sorted again for distribution. The ornament hanging grids are restrung with care “in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there!”

 

Backyard Bliss

It’s that time of year when we can take some time to sit back and enjoy the great outdoors – right in our own backyard!

Backyard

In May and June there is a lot of yard work to be done.  Beds need to be weeded and mulched, vegetable and flower seeds need to be planted, and the grass seems like it needs to be cut at least twice a week.

July and August bring hotter temperatures which means the grass doesn’t grow so fast, our gardens are lush and plentiful (cucumbers anyone?) and the flowers are in full bloom.  We don’t even mind the extra watering of plants because the rain barrels have been kept full this summer with all our rainy days! It’s time to sit on the patio with a good book, a refreshingly cool drink and take in the view.

rain barrel

As I look around my backyard I realize that my love of handcrafted items is reflected outdoors too. We have two sculptures from the studio of George Carruth; a statue of St. Francis is standing by the birdbath and Fern prominently looks over the yard from his perch on a fence post. These pieces are delightfully detailed and will weather year round temperatures, but as you’ll see many more to choose from in our stores, many pieces are perfect for indoors too.

Fern

My eyes fall on a butterfly house from Heartwood Architecture, witches balls by Kitris, Jeff Price’s levitating marble (my personal favorite) and a repurposed wine bottle holder from Delia – still holding wine bottles, but now being used as yard art.

ButterflyHouse

witches balls

levitating marble                                                         

Stop by any of the Appalachian Spring store locations to see many of the fabulous items that make up our Garden Department.  Perhaps you’ll see the perfect birdhouse or garden sculpture to add to your yard.  Then take a break, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor and experience Backyard Bliss!

I love to Make things!

I love to MAKE things.

Over the years I have identified myself as someone who enjoys the process of making things by hand. Years of working at Appalachian Spring have given me a true appreciation of the works created by our craftsmen and artists. In the interest of feeding my own desire to be creative, I joined a neighborhood “crafting” club, where in the company of friends, we tried our hands at various projects for home and garden. (These days, we are more of a Let’s Go Out to Dinner Club!)

I am a good student of any discipline.  I love the tools of the trade that support creative endeavors and I enjoy the process of making things by hand from scratch.  My latest projects have included a holiday cross stitch sampler, a crocheted throw for our guest bedroom, and a knitted scarf. I love what I make and enjoy the time that I spend making things.

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I was inspired when I met the delightful K. Gereau, one of the fiber artists whose work we carry at Appalachian Spring.  Kristin creates fabulous wool/silk knitted scarves that she then “felts” or “fulls” to the most spectacular creations that I have seen in a long time. She has an amazing eye for color and fiber choices and artistically blends them into a unique, easy-to-wear original designs.

Kristin Gereau is an artist! During our brief conversation, she casually mentioned that she would be “knitting all summer” in an effort to get our order ready for early September. I like to envision Kristin working on one scarf after another, with the latest season of Downton Abbey in the background, because that is exactly what I will be doing!

 

KGereau                         Scarves

My New Role

As the calendar changes to spring I am taking a moment to reflect on my early months in my new role at Appalachian Spring.  For 15 years I have worked in the stores and now I am working in the office/warehouse. This time of year is inevitably a slower period in the stores than the busy days leading up to the winter holidays, but not so in the office! We have been extra busy since the beginning of January and I love it! Although I am in a new position with the company, I have jumped into the exciting buying season with both feet. With the exception of lending a hand during our annual inventory of the stores, every aspect of my job is new to me. I had a wonderful experience attending 3 out of 4 trade shows in January and February, where I met many of our fabulous artists face to face.

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Orders were placed with existing artists, as well as with new craftspeople we discovered in our travels. Speaking of orders—new items are arriving daily to the warehouse! We are working as quickly as possible to process the new arrivals and to get them to the stores. We can’t wait for our customers to come in and see and shop our collection of the finest of American craft!

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