I hope you’re having a lovely summer friends. As things do... it feels as if it's gone much too quickly. Last month my oldest daughter and I took a few days together to drive up further into the mountains. It was an exceptionally rainy few days - much like our entire summer has been - but there was a quiet magic that surrounded us. Clouds clung to the mountains in a soft embrace and the beauty of it all helped us detach from how wet we were. But really, it was coming "home" to a hot bath in our beautiful little cabin at The Mast Farm Inn that strengthened our resolve to get out and explore regardless of how the skies performed. The Mast Farm Inn - a family owned homestead dating back to 1810 nestled in the gorgeous Valle Crucis, is just down the road from the original Mast General store that opened in 1883. Adie and I stayed in the Blacksmith's Shop - a cozy one bedroom cottage with a loft (we soaked in the tub at night up in the loft and watched Some Like It Hot while listening to rain beat gently on the windows - so perfect). Situated on a quiet pond and close to the main farmhouse where a farm to table breakfast was served each morning, we felt cared for as if we were family. It was one of the most wonderful stays I've experienced.
The other highlight of the trip was our stop over in both Penland and Spruce Pine on our way home. Penland is a renowned School of Crafts hidden among the peaks of Western North Carolina. Two friends attend and teach there regularly and told me it was a can’t miss when in the area. We wandered the student gallery and grounds with an iced latte from the campus coffee house - and it is now on the top of my wish list - I would love to take a metal class there next summer.
Spruce Pine is a lovely little mountain town with one of the most coveted dining experiences in the entire state. Knife & Fork was all that I was hoping for a more. I had a very simple trout sandwich with roast potatoes for lunch - but I have to say it was one of the most incredible things I've ever eaten. And the old school rock and gem shop around the corner was the proverbial icing on my cake. Full of specimens from the surrounding mountains and further afield, dream catchers, antlers, skins and quirky antiques - I found my happy place.
Some other things I'm loving this summer:
// I'm taking appointments for portrait clients again... details are here.
// Offering 50% off GEM and STONE prints until midnight tonight - more info here.
// With so many blogs making a business out of their writers everyday lives, I've felt that many have started to lack authenticity. A Well Traveled Woman is an exception. Beautifully photographed and wordsmithed, it's a new favorite when really I thought I might be over lifestyle blogs all together.
// I would love to make myself a Vintage Jewelry Chandelier - inspired by Floto+Warner.
// Pamela Love's new Illuminas Collection had me at snake and moon.
// One day, when I have a disposal income, this Swarovski encrusted ram skull will be mine.
// Did you know that Etsy is overflowing in vintage turquoise jewelry? It's my new late night internet habit.
// Lily is getting ready to restock her shop - still at the very top of my wish list.
// So far this summer I've read: The Song of Achilles; The Night Circus; and Sacre Bleu - and LOVED them all. Next is The Secret Book of Frieda Kahlo - can't wait to start - seems like the perfect beach read.
// I updated my obsessions over at CISTHENE recently - lots of summer favorites.
// A current favorite playlist.
// We love Liam. Will you help him build his clubhouse?